Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/14/11
From Press Releases
Erin Oczkowski (Archbishop Wood), Jackie Hoover (Cheltenham) and Claire Grimwood each scored two goals and West Chester’s defense frustrated Lock Haven’s attack all afternoon as the sixth-ranked Golden Rams upset the fourth-ranked and host Eagles, 9-8, in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse Tournament at Charlotte E. Smith Field this afternoon.
West Chester (16-4) avenged its loss in the PSAC Championship Game to Lock Haven (16-3) and advances to its ninth national semifinal in the last 11 years with the win. The Lady Eagles saw their season come to an end at the hands of bitter rival West Chester in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.
West Chester will take on third-seeded Limestone (17-1) Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m. in Garden City, N.Y.
West Chester’s defense limited Lock Haven to just two goals in the first half and three tallies in the first 45 minutes of the contest. More importantly, the stop unit shut down the Eagles’ top threat, Springfield-Montco alum Allison Berger, who did not register a point in the contest until the Lady Eagles made their late run.
“(LHU) has a whole parameter of ways in which to score goals, and to shut them down the way we did was just phenomenal,” West Chester coach Ginny Martino said.
The responsibility of shutting down Berger lied mainly on the shoulders of junior defender Kelly Klever. Her play, particularly in the first half, was the key to the Rams’ defense Saturday.
“You are a unit out there,” Klever said. “Sometimes, you have to slide and cover someone else. I felt anyone of us could have done the same job. Offense may score the goals, but I think a big stop at the other end is what gets our team going and builds momentum. Ground balls and slides, the little things, is what gets us pumped up as a defense.”
It was West Chester’s sliding ability that cut off many of the openings Lock Haven tried to exploit. The Lady Eagles seemed hesitant to take their shots, particularly in the first half when the Golden Rams held their opponent to two goals on just seven shots.
West Chester opened up an 8-3 lead with just 15 minutes remaining in the game, before Lock Haven made its run. The Haven outscored the Rams, 5-1, down the stretch. However, West Chester came up with a stop with 18 seconds left when Berger’s attempt went wide, and the Rams’ defense beat The Haven to the back line to win the possession.
WCU goalie McKenzie O’Keefe (Downingtown East saved one of her best performances for the postseason.
“Every save pumps up our team,” O’Keefe said. “I will sacrifice any part of my body to make sure that ball doesn’t go in. Our defense played phenomenal. Everybody came together. We were talking out there all day.”
Sophomore attacker Tori Dugan (Bayard Rustin) finished with a goal, two assists and four draw controls for West Chester. Shannon Hayed added a goal and an assists and Nicole Pyle (Henderson) scored once.
Berger led Lock Haven with four points (1G, 3A), while Jessica Pandolf and Jamie Uzialko each scored a pair of goals for Lock Haven. Heather Sacko (15-3) made seven saves in the cage.