The men’s soccer team (9-3-2) improved their position in the PSAC standings this week with a couple of victories over conference opponents. They began Tuesday, Oct. 11 against East Stroudsburg (3-4-1 PSAC) who came to Rockwell looking to make up ground down the home stretch.

The Warriors would strike first off of a header by Irvin Zuzic that was out of the reach of West Chester keeper James Wood. The goal was set up on a cross by Shaquille Stevenson. The Rams’ closest chance in the first half came in the 13th minute when captain Brett Glasco broke free and had a partial breakaway that would be saved by a diving Will Boerema.

The second half the Rams had to come out swinging, and they began to push, creating more chances in the second half. Their frustrations were eventually quelled in the 67th minute when Gio Mowrey took score to even things up. The opportunity was created off a long throw in that gave the ESU defenders difficulty in clearing, eventually allowing an initial shot by Glasco, which fell to Mowrey, who finished off the rebound.

The match would continue with both squads battling to break the tie but neither were able to find a goal in regulation. In the 92nd minute, the Golden Rams came close to sending the crowd home happy, but Max Adarkwah was unable to get his shot low enough as it rang off the crossbar.

In the second overtime period, Mowrey made his presence felt yet again. With the 104th minute approaching, he found sophomore Tyler Rapposelli on the left side of the box. The Reading native made a beautiful touch to his right, on the edge of the box and ripped a beautiful shot to the near post, beating the keeper and winning a very tough contest 2-1.

The team would continue their home stay on Saturday, Oct. 15 against Slippery Rock (2-4-2 PSAC). The Rock needed this game to remain in the hunt for a spot in the PSAC tournament. They came out of the gate going toe for toe with a strong team like West Chester’s.

It would be the Rams who drew first blood though in the 33rd minute. Sophomore back Kyle Hoops scored his second goal of the season with a great header to give the team and early lead. Tim French, whose role has increased recently in order to take a load off captain Wyatt Dungan, provided the assist.

The team would add onto their lead in the 80th minute after Miguel Ross deposited a loose ball that was the product of SRU mishandling the ball, with Ross being the benefactor.

Colin Hester put the cherry on top of a stellar team performance by scoring his fifth goal of the season from a corner kick.

The team continues their push towards playoffs with two conference matchups this week. They travel to Lock Haven on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to battle the Eagles, who are trying to prevent falling completely out of contention.

They will then wrap up the week at home against a disappointing Bloomsburg squad. The men hope to continue their four-game winning streak in the most critical time of the year, so come show your support!

Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.

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