The men’s soccer team clinched their place in postseason play this week as they went without a loss, earning them one of the coveted six spots (7-1-2 PSAC). This is a huge weight off the shoulders of the team after missing out last season, as they can now breathe easier knowing that they will play beyond next week.
They began the week on Wednesday with a huge comeback win at Lock Haven, 3-2. It was a tale of two halves for the Golden Rams as they scored three unanswered goals in the latter session to give them the victory.
It was Lock Haven who drew first blood late in the first half with a goal by senior Troy Amspacher, who beat keeper James Wood on a far side shot in the 41st minute. This increased Amspacher’s goal total on the year to lucky number 13. The Bald Eagles went into the half with a 1-0 lead.
They built off their late tally right off the bat in the second half as senior Tyler Sablyak scored his first goal on the season off an assist from fellow senior Tyler Weikert. After such a slow start the Rams were looking for something to stop the bleeding.
They got it in the 58th minute as a foul gave the team a penalty kick opportunity. Captain Brett Glasco scored off a rebound from the initial take by senior Miguel Ross. The fight in the men had not died out just yet. They did catch a break; just as their spirits began to get high, the Bald Eagles almost deflated their hopes in the 64th minute as Amspacher nearly scored his second goal of the game but was met by a keeper’s best friend in the post.
The men used this lucky break to their advantage as they set their sights on evening things up. Junior Gio Mowrey brought them even with his third goal of the season in the 82nd minute. Yet again capitalizing on LHU keeper Thomas McClain’s inability to corral the ball, he fired a juicy rebound into the empty net.
The team completed the comeback in the 86th minute off the foot of Tim French for his second goal of the season. The victory plus the results of other PSAC matchups that day clinched a playoff spot for West Chester.
The team then returned back home for their senior day on a cold windy day at Rockwell. They faced Bloomsburg (1-5-3 PSAC) and the two teams also had to battle the conditions, unable to muster anything truly positive, playing to a 0-0 draw.
The Rams proved to be the winner in multiple categories, however, holding a 20-9 shot advantage while also having a 15-2 corner kick advantage. The stars of the game proved to be the two keepers, both finishing with clean sheets as West Chester GK James “Woody” Wood made four saves, and his counterpart Jacob Pesarcik made seven of his own.
The teams also honored their eldest members, as the senior members of the team were given recognition for their long service on the team.
In spite of a slight sputter as the week ended, the team continues to have their eyes set on securing home-field throughout the PSAC championship tournament. Their best chance at earning the opportunity is by winning their final regular season matchup next Saturday, Oct. 29 at Seton Hill.
After going 6-8-3 in a disappointing season last year, this year’s squad is much more improved. The young members of the team have grown together and stepped up to the plate when needed, and their current 10- 3-3 record is a testament to that.
This team is poised for a deep postseason run, and they are getting hot at the perfect time. With the tie this week coming after five straight victories, the Golden Rams haven’t suffered a defeat in nearly a month, with the last loss coming on Sept. 29 against Georgian Court University.
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.