Eventually you begin to run out of superlatives to describe the WCU Lady Rams soccer team. To call their season so far amazing, stupendous and incredible feels like you are not giving these women enough credit. Another week has come and gone with their perfect record still intact. The only team in the PSACs that can even be mentioned in the same breath as these women now are East Stroudsburg, and even they have a loss this season.
This week it was Millersville and Edinboro who found themselves in the sights of the deadliest team in the conference so far. This past Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Marauders (2-7-0) came to town and were immediately met with a rude welcoming. In the 12th minute, senior star Scarlett Walsh got the ball rolling with her fifth goal of the year that found the top right corner to begin what would be another day at the office for the Golden Rams. The lead was extended to 2-0 by senior Haley Mangiaruga, her first of the season, just minutes later. WCU had one more goal in them before the half in the 27th minute when sophomore Nikki Zaso scored her third goal of the season off an assist from fellow sophomore Linzi Wolfe to give the squad a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
In the next half the two teams still remained far apart in their playing level, so whatever pep talk Millersville received at half-time resulted in only two more shots than they had in the first half. West Chester kept using their superior size, speed and skill to score two more goals, one from senior captain Kara Parvel, her fourth, and freshman Paige Jones, her first of her career.
After such a cakewalk earlier in the week, the Rams had a challenge awaiting them Saturday as they took on #20 ranked Edinboro (8-2-0) on their own home field. WCU came out on top again with a 1-0 victory. Both teams came into the match sporting very strong PSAC resumes, but that didn’t shake the mindset that helped West Chester stay strong all year.
“As a team, we take it game by game,” said Parvel. “We know we have a target on our back each game we go into, so we go into each game strong and ready to play.”
With a team like Edinboro, there is a lot that they had to prepare for, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking the challenge head on.
“We are always ready for what our opponents can bring to the field, and if we need to adjust, we do as we need to put the best effort forward throughout the entire game.”
The Fighting Scots began the game with a flurry of opportunities, sending multiple shots towards senior keeper Alex Srolis. But as she has all season, Srolis kept it out. She has had a stellar season so far, allowing only three goals in the 10 games played, making life for the team easier knowing they might only need one.
The only goal of the match came at the 28th minute, on the very first shot on goal by the Lady Rams. Senior Haley Mangiaruga scored her second goal this year on a breakaway that was set up by a poor clear attempt by Edinboro. Captain Lexi Brown had her fifth assist of the season on the play.
By the time the match ended the shot totals finished at 11-10 in favor of Edinboro. The true star of the game though was Srolis, who made a total of eight saves in the game and earning her 30th career shutout, and her third of the season.
The Golden Rams will put their perfect season on the line again next Saturday, Oct. 8 in an away match against Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.