With the regular season starting to come to an end, the West Chester University Golden Rams field hockey team took full advantage of a busy three-game week and went undefeated to move to 14-3 on the season and increased their winning streak to four games.
West Chester opened up the week on Sunday at Ursinus College for the annual Snell Cup game. Coming off a 5-0 victory against Mansfield the day before, the offense stayed hot for the Golden Rams in the first half. Dayle Paustian started off the scoring for WCU in the 12th minute, and she opened the flood gates as West Chester went on to score three goals in the following nine minutes, coming from Mary Spisak, Kristina Scherrer, and leading scorer Rachal Toppi. Coming out of the halftime break trailing 4-0, Devin Brakel got Ursinus on the board just 29 seconds into the second half. Toppi answered that two minutes later with a penalty stroke goal to regain the four goal lead. Amber Steigerwalt of Ursinus and West Chester’s Alexis Versak traded goals three minutes apart in the 46th and 49th minutes to push the score 6-2. Megan Keenan closed out the scoring in the 58th minute with a penalty stroke goal for Ursinus, and the Golden Rams claimed the Snell Cup with the 6-3 victory.
After the victory against Ursinus, No. 3 West Chester traveled back home for a matchup against Mercyhurst on Wednesday afternoon. Toppi opened up the scoring in the 15th minute for the Golden Rams with her team leading 16th goal of the year. Paustian added her 10th of the season eight minutes later to give West Chester the 2-0 and that would be all they needed to secure the victory against Mercyhurst. Brianna Magner made seven saves in the cage for the shutout.
The Golden Rams traveled to Slippery Rock University on Saturday for the final meeting of the season between to the two teams. Last performance, West Chester defeated Slippery Rock 3-0 as goalkeeper Sarah Krause earned her first shutout of the season. Kept quiet in the two games earlier in the week, Marnie Kusakavitch closed out what would’ve been a scoreless half had she not scored her 12th goal of the season in the 34th minute. She then opened up the scoring just one minute into the second half with her second goal of the game and 13th of the season to give WCU a 2-0. In the next 15 minutes, the Golden Rams rattled off three more goals, two from Paustian and one from Toppi, to increase their lead to 5-0. Five minutes after Paustian’s second goal, Megan McKay scored the lone goal of the game for Slippery Rock. Kusakavitch completed the hat trick in the 62nd minute to close out the scoring and give West Chester the 6-1 victory.
Riding a four game winning streak, the Golden Rams look to end their regular season on a high note at home against Seton Hill University on Oct. 31st. Following the regular season finale, West Chester will test their luck in the PSAC Championships, where they look to defend their title captured last year.
Dylan Harrison is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at DH785892@wcupa.edu