The women’s soccer team will have to rid themselves of some demons this Sunday, Nov. 13 as they face East Stroudsburg. The Warriors were the team that knocked them out of the PSAC tournament last week.
East Stroudsburg and West Chester have become very familiar with one another over the years, facing off in the regular season, as well as four postseason showdowns where the Warriors hold a perfect 4-0 record. This is a habit that the Rams hope to break.
And they are ready for some payback.
“We’ve been preparing our minds and bodies for this game the whole week,” says captain Kara Parvel. “We are ready to seek revenge!”
They definitely have a lot riding on this game, as they hope to build on the program’s success. West Chester has won the Atlantic Region titles six times, and the last time was in 2014. They also increased their streak of NCAA success by reaching the tournament for the 14th straight time.
East Stroudsburg is led as far as their all world goalkeeper Jules Harris will take them. The All-PSAC Defensive Player of the Year dominated this year, especially against West Chester. She has only allowed two goals total in both their matchups this year, and she proved the difference in the last match, making multiple huge saves in the penalty kicks stage of competition. In order to beat a goalie like Harris, the Rams will have to make each of their shots count and continue the statistical advantage they’ve held over the Warriors.
“All the statistics show our dominance in the last two times we played ESU, but the numbers on the board did not prove that,” claims Parvel, as in both matches the Rams held the shots advantage.
In their regular season matchup, it was 17-8 advantage while their PSAC tournament loss was only a 10-5 difference.
The Rams will also have to try and contain the five other All-PSAC members of the Warriors squad besides Harris.
West Chester will counter though with some firepower of their own. They have PSAC Women’s Soccer Athlete of the Year, Scarlett Walsh, on their side. Alongside Walsh are three of her teammates, Parvel, Lexi Brown and Carly Henry, who all have All-PSAC honors of their own.
Coach Betty Ann Kempf Townsley played a huge role in getting the women to where they are now, and she earned her place as the PSAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.
It will take a collective effort by the group in order to usurp the PSAC champion Warriors, who are fresh off a win on Friday against the University of Notre Dame. The Warriors looked like the stronger, faster team and are coming into the West Chester match as confident as ever.
This does not frighten the Rams, though.
Parvel believes in her team, saying, “Tomorrow we plan to prove ourselves by working extremely hard to achieve our goal, our passion is undeniable, we want this W more than any other game this season.”
The team has never made it farther than the national semifinal level, and they hope to better that this weekend. As Parvel said it best, now, “It’s go time!”
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.