No. 7 West Chester University Women’s Lacrosse Team (12-1, 7-1 PSAC East) extended their win-streak to seven games after notching victories over No. 12 Lock Haven University and No. 19 Indiana University of Pennsylvania this week.
West Chester dispatched Lock Haven (9-2, 5-2) by the score of 13-4 Wednesday night on Vonnie Gros Field, as reigning PSAC Player of the Week Ashley Pyle, and her six goals led the Golden Rams. Hannah Cowan added five points of her own with four goals and an assist, with Sami Barnett’s two goals and a goal from Caroline Kuchinsky’s to round out the scoring.
Dina Cifelli dished out a team-high four assists, and Olivia Martin contributed with two helpers of her own. Paige Mitros snagged her 11th win of the season as she went 4-4 on saves.
Lock Haven’s chances of emerging victorious were bleak from the outset of this one. WCU reeled off a 10-0 run in the first half (including five goals in the first six minutes) to completely zap the collective spirits of LHU. It took Lock Haven until the 10:54 mark in the first frame to put a point on the board, as Hope Thomas scored on an assist from teammate Hayley Killian.
Lock Haven actually outscored WCU 2-1 in the second half as WCU dialed back their aggression in lieu of a milder attack that allowed them to effectively drain the clock, but the Golden Rams’ early eruption made it all for naught as the lead proved to be insurmountable.
The win marks the Golden Rams’ first win over Lock Haven since 2013, ending a personal three-game skid to the Lady Eagles. This was also WCU’s largest margin of victory over LHU since 2008, when West Chester trounced Lock Haven 17-8 in the PSAC Championship Game.
West Chester’s Saturday afternoon win over IUP deviated from the norm, as WCU was finally entangled in a hotly contested matchup after routing a slew of opponents this season. The Golden Rams marched away with a 9-8 win over the Crimson Hawks in the snow, and they also supplanted IUP in the PSAC standings now trailing only Mercyhurst University (10-1, 7-0).
It took a total team effort from the Golden Rams to grab the win in this one, as six different players scored a goal with Erin Eckert, Kristen Vath, and Cifelli all adding two scores.
Erin Gallagher, Cowan, and Barnett all found the net once with both Cifelli and Cowan dishing out two assists each.
It was a back-and-forth affair for the entire first half as WCU nursed a two-point lead (6-4) going into intermission, but West Chester doubled-up IUP with two quick scores in the second half.
The Crimson Hawks responded by scoring four out of the next five goals in the half, but they were unable to knot everything up as they turned the ball over with 40 seconds left, one of their 23 giveaways of the game. West Chester simply just ran out a clock, and escaped with the narrow, but important win.
The win also marked Mitros’ 12th of the season as she made eight saves.
WCU will now return home for a matchup with Shippensburg University (3-9, 0-8), who have dropped eight consecutives before venturing out for a short two-game road trip for games against Seton Hill University of Pennsylvania (6-7, 5-4) and East Stroudsburg University (11-2, 6-2).
After that, WCU will have only two games remaining, including one home contest, so make sure you get out to support the Lady Rams.
B.J. Boyer is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. Contact them at WB806695@wcupa.edu