Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

The West Chester Golden Rams field hockey team is off to another successful campaign after a dominant 9–2 record to start the season. They look well positioned to make another run at winning the championship and that is thanks to players like grad student Dara Spavlik. 

Many people have trouble deciding on where they want to continue their college education and athletics, but the decision came easy for Spavlik. 

“I have a long line of family members who were alumni of West Chester and I grew up coming to homecomings and visiting town. It seemed like fate that their program was one of the best DII programs.” 

As Dara said, the Golden Rams are a very successful field hockey program and that continued once she joined the team as a freshman in 2018. She was able to experience the feeling of winning a national championship when West Chester beat Saint Anselm College 2–1 the very next year in 2019.  

“Everyone knows when they come here that we have high expectations and want to go far,” Dara told me when asked about what it was like to be part of a successful program like West Chester’s. “I’m not going to say that it was easy being a part of a successful program, being a college athlete isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth it in the end.” 

Unfortunately for Dara, her junior season was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. This was a hard time for everybody but making light of the situation, she was able to take a Covid year in order to play a fifth year and she says that “deciding to play my COVID fifth year shows that I love being a part of a successful program.”  

Dara’s COVID fifth year season is looking to build off of her senior season where she contributed the second most goals on the team with eight and was named an All-Conference player and a Second Team All-American.  

And her season appears to be doing just that as she already has four goals through eleven games, including five assists which almost equals her total from all of last year in 22 games.  

A big role in her and the team’s success has been Coach Amy Cohen. The culture that she has instilled into the program has made a lasting impression on all of the players and created lifelong memories. 

“Coach has left a lasting impact on my life,” said Dara when asked about the impact of Coach Cohen. “We refer to our West Chester Field Hockey family as a Ramily and coach loves incorporating parents when she can!” 

Who wouldn’t want to play for a coach like that? 

Elaborating on that, Dara explains how Coach has “opened her family up to the team and makes everyone else feel comfortable to do the same.”  

That’s what the “Ramily” is all about, having everyone enjoy being around each other and just having fun.  

When questioned about what lessons she has learned along the way Dara had a very informative answer that I think everyone should abide by. 

“I think the one thing I’ve learned this year was to enjoy the moment and don’t take anyone or anything for granted. Being that it’s my last year as a college athlete I want to take it all in before it’s over.” 

Being in the moment and not taking anything for granted was reflected once again in her answer when discussing the Golden Rams odds of winning the championship this year. 

“We take the season day by day and obviously the end goal is always to win a national championship, but the goal each day is to get 1% better and focus on how to be the most successful against our new weekly opponent.” 

That new weekly opponent will be Mercyhurst University who the Rams play on Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. 


Colin Bradley is a third year English Major with a minor in Journalism CB953277@wcupa.edu  

 

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