Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

The West Chester University women’s basketball season came to an end last week when they fell to Wheeling Jesuit 71-69 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

This loss marked the end of an era for the Golden Rams. They graduate the six seniors that made this team so special over the years.

West Chester was so close to advancing to the second round. The Golden Rams took a 69-68 lead with two minutes left in the game. West Chester’s one-point lead held up until Wheeling Jesuit had the ball out of a time out with 10 seconds remaining in the game. Wheeling Jesuit’s Chelsea Richardson cleaned up the offensive glass and put in the go-ahead lay up with seven seconds left in the game.

West Chester would still have plenty of time to try and get down the floor and put in the game-winning basket. Unfortunately, Mariah Powell of the Golden Rams turned the ball over, and Wheeling Jesuit iced the game with a free throw.

The Rams fought throughout the entire game down to the very last seconds, something that is so typical of this unit that has become more like a family over the years.

Brittany Sicinski, Dallas Ely, Anna Kuntz, Jasmen Clark, and Kendall Benovy all played their final game in a purple and gold uniform. Those have been the starters for West Chester for a majority of the games in the last four years. West Chester also graduates Tiffany Johnson, a key part off the bench for the Golden Rams.

In the four years that this unit has been together, they have improved each year. They have made it to the NCAA Tournament in the past two seasons, and both of those games could have gone either way. This team, the team that mirrors the last four years, should hold their heads high as they have done something so special for this program. They have catipulted West Chester women’s basketball to be recognized as a top tier program.

Another statistic that shows just how special this group has been is that they graduate the top two scorers in women’s West Chester basketball history. Sicinkski finished as the Golden Rams all-time leading scorer. Ely finished in second all-time in scoring. Sicinksi also set the record for most field goals made with 611. She is the only Golden Ram to ever surpass 600 made field goals. She also finished third in assists and sixth in steals. She showed more than ever before how all-around great she is.

Looking forward, Coach Keira Wooden is going to have to rebuild. They have some returning players but again no starters will be returning. She is also losing her top five scorers, her top rebounder and her top assist player. This will be a complete revamp with a new group of players that will only have three seniors on the roster: Tori Smick, Mariah Traywick and Courtney Wanner.

As the Golden Rams left the court for the last time after handing in their jerseys, they should feel nothing but proud, happy moments that they got to share together and more importantly put on a show for all the fans over the last four years.

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

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