Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

West Chester women’s soccer team took care of business on the road this week in two important PSAC matches.

West Chester is currently on a four-game win streak and they have outscored their opponents by a score of 13-0 during that span. They were able to pick up two wins this week against East Stroudsburg on Tuesday and then they defeated Slippery Rock on Saturday.

The first game against East Stroudsburg resulted in a 1-0 victory for West Chester. These two teams last year were battling for the No. 1 spot in the PSAC all season. Although East Stroudsburg is not as dominant as they were last year they are no team to take lightly and West Chester knew that. This becomes even especially during this time of the season where every game is as critical as the next as teams are jockeying for a playoff berth.

The entire game was very even with both teams tallying 13 shots and five on goal. However, West Chester did create more opportunities off corner kicks as they had five compared to the lone corner kick East Stroudsburg had in second half.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half as the teams went into the break sporting a scoreless game. But West Chester did not need to wait long to get on the board in the second half. The leading goal scorer for the Golden Rams put it past the goalkeeper on a pass from teammate Scarlett Walsh. This was Parvel’s seventh goal of the season.

The very solid defense stood strong again for West Chester for the rest of the game limiting the Golden Rams to three shots on goal, all of which were handed by the Golden Rams goalkeeper Alex Srolis. For Srolis this was her eighth shutout on the season and third shutout in a row.

West Chester then needed to turn their attention to their weekend match-up on the road against a tough Slippery Rock team. West Chester was outshot 9-6 but they had two more shots on goal then Slippery Rock. Each team earned three corner kicks in the game while Slippery Rock’s Maddy Tletski was handed a yellow card in the 76th minute.

Much like the last game the game was a hard fought match with both teams having a physical style of play. The two teams went into halftime tied at zero. Unlike the last game West Chester was not able to get on the board until a little later in the second half.

Junior Lexi Brown found the back of the net off a corner kick from Julianne Minutillo in the 61st minute. This was Brown’s fourth goal of the season. Again the one goal was plenty for West Chester’s superior defense as they held Slippery Rock in check for the final thirty minutes of game time and took home the victory. Srolis recorded her ninth shutout and fourth in a row. West Chester improved to 11-3 on the season and 10-3 in the PSAC.

Also for the first time since the beginning of the season West Chester has jumped back into the national rankings for Division II women’s soccer. They are now ranked 24th in the country and are playing their best soccer of the year.

One of the question marks for this team in the beginning of the season was offense. Would they be able to get their stout defense a lead? Earlier on in the season that answer was up in the air. But recently these Golden Rams have really stepped up their game and are playing their best soccer of the season with three regular season games remaining on their schedule. The only team that is ahead of them in the PSAC standings in undefeated, nationally ranked Gannon University. Gannon handed West Chester one of their three losses on the season in a 2-1 loss early on in the season. This was the part of the season where West Chester’s offense was struggling. They are now a better team on both sides of the ball. Although, they might not be able to catch up to Gannon before the end of the season they are looking forward to a possible rematch in the PSAC playoffs. But for now West Chester will take each game one at time, for the final three games before postseason play. They still need to capture at least one more victory to be able to clinch a postseason birth. Gannon is currently the only team that has clinched this season. The Golden Rams will look forward to Lock Haven on Wednesday at noon at Rockwell Field.

West Chester has two of the final three games at home and they need to continue to keep their foot on the gas pedal. They are currently in second place in the PSAC standings and it is a tight race for that second spot.

Ryan Calpin is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu

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