WCU Wins Second National Title
The West Chester University field hockey team wins its second national title in a row Sunday.
The following is a press release from the West Chester University Athletic Department.
Top-ranked West Chester University scored three goals in the first half and two more in the second half and successfully defended its NCAA Division II Field Hockey championship with a 5-0 shutout over host UMass-Lowell Sunday afternoon at Cushing Field.
West Chester (20-2) tied the school’s single season record for wins while securing its second straight NCAA title and sixth national championship in program history. Both of West Chester’s championships the last two years have come at the expense of UMass-Lowell (19-4), who was making its sixth straight appearance in the national title game.
“This has been just an amazing experience,” WCU head coach Amy Cohen commented afterwards. “It was such a wonderful family experience (in Boston). The stands were full of West Chester family, friends and supporters. They were tailgating all weekend like it was a Penn State football game. Everybody from the parents, to the administration to the fans had a hand in this championship.”
The Golden Rams jumped on top early with a pair of goals in the first six minutes of the contest. Senior Kayla Gluchowski (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) scored off an assist from Megan Callanan (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) in the third minute while Kelsi Lykens (Mohrsville, Pa./Schuylkill) doubled the lead on an unassisted tally in the sixth minute.
“I knew that if we could maintain possession and keep the ball on the outside of the field, that we would be successful today,” Cohen added. “The team did a great job of executing the game plan limiting Lowell’s opportunities.”
Freshman Alexis Versack (Limerick, Pa./Spring-Ford) then tipped home a shot from Stef Pirri (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) in the 16th minute to increase the lead to 3-0 by halftime.
Senior Michele Schrift (Reading, Pa./Muhlenberg) quickly added to the advantage one minute into the second half with her team-leading 25th tally of the year, an unassisted effort that made it 4-0. Kelsey Cheek (Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest) closed out the scoring in the 56th minute finishing off a pass from Callanan, who posted a pair of assists on the day.
Senior goalkeeper Kristin Arnold (Coopersburg, Pa./Southern Lehigh) made a pair of saves in goal to register her 20th win of the season. She played the first 65 minutes of the game. Classmate Gabby Panasiewicz (Landenberg, Pa./Kennett Square) finished up in goal, making one save.
“Both championships are different. They are so unique,” Arnold stated afterwards when asked to compare last year’s title with this year’s crown. “They both mean a lot. I think we took the hardest route possible to get here this year. We had to play a tough IUP team in the quarterfinals and then play Shippensburg in the semifinals.
“Lowell is a competitive team. I can’t say that I felt comfortable until about 10 minutes left in the second half. I couldn’t be happier for my teammates. It is such a joyful feeling, that I don’t think I can put it into words.”
UMass-Lowell goalkeeper Melanie Hopkins made four saves in a losing effort.
NOTES: West Chester’s back-to-back NCAA championships marks the first such accomplishment for the school in any sport … it is the sixth NCAA national championship won by West Chester University (1961 – men’s soccer; 2002 and 2008 – women’s lacrosse; 2011 field hockey; 2012 baseball) … it is the sixth national championship overall in program history … WCU won four straight AIAW field hockey national championships (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978) … West Chester improves to 6-0 in the NCAA Division II Field Hockey Tournament … the Golden Rams have now won the national title in each of its first two years since re-classifying to Division II … WCU’s 20 wins ties the school record for wins in a single season (1977, 1978) … in two seasons as head coach, Amy Cohen is 37-6 with a pair of national championships and one conference championship … West Chester ended the 2012 season on a 10-game winning streak.