WCU against East Stroudsburg. Photo via wcupagoldenrams.com
Making it back to a championship game is no small feat, but that’s exactly what the West Chester women’s soccer team is attempting to accomplish — hopefully with a different outcome this time around.
After a dominant regular season in 2022, in which they only lost one game en route to a 23–1–1 record and an undefeated 15–0–1 record in conference play, the WSOC team secured their place in the NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship Game against Western Washington.
Just to put their dominance up to that point into perspective, here are some statistics. The Golden Rams outscored their opponents by two goals per game averaging 2.40 goals while their opponents only averaged 0.40 goals. In counting stats, this equates to 60 goals on the season for the Golden Rams and only ten for the opposition.
In the aforementioned championship game, they came up just short in a narrow 2–1 loss. The good news is this was their first national championship game appearance in school history, and they look well prepared to make it back there with many returning players poised for improvement.
Juniors Kaitlynn Haughey and Alyson Cutter were named members of the all-tournament team. They, along with the rest of the Golden Rams, are expected to have another big season.
Their big season continued in a rematch of the 2022 Atlantic Region Championship Game against number six-ranked Kutztown University on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Heading into this conference matchup, the number 12-ranked Golden Rams were once again undefeated with a 2–0–1 record, putting together another dominant campaign on par with last season’s. They are even outscoring their opponents at roughly the same rate as last year, averaging 2.33 goals in the three games they have played up to this point and are only giving up an average of 0.67.
This matchup against Kutztown was set up to be a battle as the Golden Bears also came into the game undefeated with a record of 3–0–1. An even match at first glance, West Chester appeared to have the narrow edge as they had scored the same number of goals as Kutztown in one less game played, and had also held their opponents to two less goals scored in total.
Kutztown put this stellar defense of West Chester to the test within 45 seconds as they got on the board almost as soon as the game was underway.
It was a defensive slugfest between both teams until, with 9 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock in the first half, Kutztown chipped in their second goal of the day to extend their lead to 2–0. This had already matched the total number of goals the Golden Rams had given up throughout the season. The Golden Rams defense held up after that to keep the game safely within reach heading into the half.
After the break and having time to make their halftime adjustments, both teams came out looking to either extend their lead or get points on the board.
Kutztown struck first after intermission for the Golden Bears’ third goal of the day — the final score as Kutztown held on for the 3–0 win.
This ended the Golden Rams’ 20 regular season game win streak, but they are looking to get back on track Saturday against Mansfield University.
Colin Bradley is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism. CB953277@wcupa.edu