LOWELL, Mass. — Kayla Gluchowski finished a cross from Kelsey Cheek with 1:22 remaining to play, lifting top-ranked West Chester to a 3-2 victory against Shippensburg in the NCAA Division II Field Hockey semifinals at Cushing Field on Friday.
West Chester (19-2) advanced to the national championship game for a consecutive year as the Golden Rams try to defend the title they won last November in Bloomsburg. Shippensburg (17-3) saw its season come to a close at the hands of West Chester for the second year in a row.
“It was a team effort today,” second-year head coach Amy Cohen said after the win. “Our forwards played extremely well.”
Gluchowski netted her 12th goal of the season as time was winding down in regulation. Shippensburg’s Megan Jett tied the contest at two-apiece six minutes earlier when West Chester’s goalkeeper, Kristin Arnold, misplayed the ball inside the circle. However, the Golden Rams made up for that in the final two minutes.
West Chester held a 2-1 advantage at halftime thanks to consecutive goals from Alexis Versak and Michele Schrift. Versak tipped in a blast from Kelsi Lykens in the 11th minute that tied the score at one. It was her sixth goal of the season. Schrift then scored her team-leading 24th goal of the season when she scored after a scuffle for the ball. Carley Buckwalter picked up an assist on Schrift’s goal.
Shippensburg’s Emily Kohlbus put the Raiders on top 1-0 six minutes in when she finished a pass from Lauren Taylor.
“We went down a goal early, but remained composed and were able to capitalize on our next scoring opportunity,” Cohen said.
Arnold (19-2) made a pair of saves in the contest, while Ciarra Delost (13-3) made four saves for the Golden Rams.