The field hockey team. Photo taken by Bo Michaels via wcupagoldenrams.com
In a battle between two powerhouse programs in number one ranked West Chester and number four ranked Kutztown, the Golden Rams pulled away to win in overtime to get their first conference win of the year and improve their record to 7-0 overall.
Coming into the game, “we knew that Kutztown was going to be a tough opponent to play against” said sophomore Jasmine Miller.
She proved up to the challenge as she contributed two goals, including the winning one in overtime, to help the Golden Rams secure the 4–3 victory.
Kutztown struck first in the game with a tipped in goal but grad student Dara Spavlik answered shortly after with her third goal of the season on a penalty corner to tie it all up 1–1. It would remain this score throughout the rest of the first quarter due to a relentless defense from both sides. Good defense is West Chester’s calling card as they had only let up three goals prior to this matchup the entire season.
Senior Rory Strom broke the tie in the second with a penalty stroke goal for her third goal of the season and regained the lead for the Golden Rams to make it 2–1. Kutztown’s leading scorer, Rachel Dusman, then scored from the middle of the circle with eight minutes left to go into the half 2–2.
Knowing the quality of the opponent and having it all tied up going into intermission, both coaches had to make adjustments to try and get the upper hand.
This clearly worked because both teams came out of halftime playing an aggressive brand of defense that resulted in no goals being scored for the duration of the third quarter.
West Chester responded quickly in the fourth quarter to end this long scoring drought by both teams due to sophomore Jasmine Miller tipping in a shot from fellow sophomore teammate Valerie Van Kuijck. This was Miller’s sixth goal of the season and Valerie’s ninth assist of the season.
Kutztown tied it up 3–3 about four minutes later, which set up the conference rivals for overtime.
The extra period went down to the wire as with a little under two minutes left Jasmine Miller scored her second goal of the day and seventh of the season off of an assist from senior Claudia Jaszczak to give the Golden Rams the 4–3 win.
When discussing her heroics after the game, Miller gave credit to her teammates by saying “It felt great to have been able to score, but it wouldn’t have happened without Claudia Jaszczak bringing the ball up the field and everyone else on and off the field today.”
Overall, the Golden Rams outshot the Golden Bears 24 to 8 with 14 of them being shots on goal compared to Kutztown’s 5 on goal.
West Chester continued their dominant start as they are now outscoring their opponents by a margin of 41 to 6, and that is with Kutztown doubling that total with three goals in this matchup.
West Chester defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania 2–1 to improve to 8–0 on the season this past weekend. Look for the team to keep this up in their next game at Millersville coming up on Oct. 12.
Colin Bradley is a third-year English major with a minor in journalism. CB953277@wcupa.edu