C.W. Post pulled off a major upset in the quarterfinals of the PSAC field hockey tournament as they defeated #3 West Chester, the second seed in the East, 2-1 in double overtime at West Chester’s Vonnie Gros Field this afternoon.
Helene Bruckner scored the equalizer in the final minute of regulation, while Carlee Dragon, the nation’s second leading scorer, slayed the Golden Rams (14-3) in scoring her 21st goal of the season with 5:38 remaining in the second overtime session to give the seventh-ranked Pioneers (9-7) a berth in the PSAC semifinals at Shippensburg on Friday.
“We had a lot of chances,” Dragon said. “But we finished, that’s all that matters.”
The exact opposite could be said of the Golden Rams, as they could only muster a single goal early in the match despite outshooting C.W. Post 25-15.
“We had so many shots on goal, we should’ve just capitalized,” West Chester head coach Amy Cohen said after the match. West Chester attempted 23 penalty corners, while C.W. Post attempted eight.
“That’s disheartening,” Cohen said. “If we had put some more in early when we had the chances, then we wouldn’t have been in the position we were in.”
Alisha Moran opened the scoring for the Golden Rams in the 8th minute as she fired a rebound past Pioneers goalie Devon Trenkle.
West Chester dominated most of the first half, outshooting the Pioneers 14-4, while attempting 11 penalty corners to C.W. Post’s two.
“It took us a little while to get started today,” said C.W. Post head coach Raenee Savin. “But once we did, we switched our lineup a little bit and we went forward.”
The Pioneers picked up the pace towards the end of regulation, when it appeared as though the Rams would punch their tickets to Shippensburg. Bruckner made sure that didn’t happen, as she tipped in a cross pass from freshman forward Lyn-Marie Wilson with 56 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We definitely had a lot of momentum in the last 10 minutes of the game,” Savin said. “Thankfully we put the ball in the back of the net.”
Though both teams had their chances in the first 15 minute overtime period, the Golden Rams appeared to have the match won as Moran took a feed from Kayla Gluchowski as time expired and put it in the back of the cage. The celebration was short lived as the referees determined that the ball had crossed the line after time expired.
“They said the ball didn’t cross the line prior to the horn going off,” Cohen said. “One official seemed to think it was in and one said no it was not over the line.”
West Chester continued to put the pressure on the Pioneers until the 95th minute, when Dragon raced down the far side on a breakaway. Her initial shot on Rams goalie Kristin Arnold was booted away, however, the sophomore forward managed to pick up the rebound and fire it just to Arnold’s right for the Golden Goal.
“She’s a good player,” Cohen said of Dragon. “I think we had stopped her for most of the game and it wasn’t really a concern of ours.”
In overtime, Cohen noted, “you get a lot of breakaways” because the teams play seven-on-seven.
“And that’s what happened,” she added.
West Chester will learn if their season ends or will continue on Monday when the NCAA announces the field of six for the Division II field hockey championships. The loss could seriously hurt the Golden Rams’ chances of advancing to the NCAA Division II tournament.
“This is rough, because we really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Moran said. “As a senior, this could’ve been my last game. We just don’t know yet.”
ELSEWHERE IN THE PSAC: Anouk Sickman scored a pair of goals in the first 23 minutes as #6 Indiana (Pa.) defeated Slippery Rock 2-0 inside George Miller Stadium in Indiana this evening in the PSAC West quarterfinal match.
Sickman scored her first goal in the 12th minute off a penalty corner; Erin Shirk was credited with the assist. Sickman added an unassisted insurance goal in the 23rd minute as the Crimson Hawks (12-6) defense stymied The Rock (6-13) throughout the second half.
Each team fired six shots on goal, while IUP took 10 penalty corners to seven for The Rock. Brittany Varacallo recorded three saves for the Crimson Hawks in the first half before turning over goaltending duties to Sarah Lemieux in the second half. Lemieux recorded one save for IUP.
IUP will face top-ranked and undefeated Bloomsburg (17-0) in the first semifinal match at Shippensburg’s Robb Sports Complex at 1:00 p.m. Friday. The C.W. Post-Shippensburg match will follow, starting at approximately 3:30 p.m.
NOTES:The East quarterfinal match was the third all-time meeting between C.W. Post and West Chester. The Golden Rams had defeated the Pioneers 4-1 in Brookville, N.Y. on Sept. 21 and 6-4 on Oct. 11 at Vonnie Gros Field. … The Golden Rams entered the match ranked third in the nation and third in the South Region. The top three teams from both the North Region (consisting mostly of teams from the Northeast 10) and the South Region (mainly teams from the PSAC) advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs. … IUP and Slippery Rock split their season series during the regular season. The Crimson Hawks defeated The Rock 4-1 at Miller Stadium, while The Rock edged IUP 2-1 in overtime at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium on Saturday. … IUP, ranked fourth in the South Region, leads the all-time series with Slippery Rock 32-17-1.