Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Cal (Pa.) Athletics

The No. 11 Vulcans played No. 4 West Chester to a scoreless tie Saturday before falling in penalty kicks, 4-3, in the finals of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament.

In accordance with NCAA rules, the game is officially scored as a tie, with West Chester getting the nod in decisive penalty kicks. The California University of Pennsylvania womens soccer team is now 18-1-2 in 2010 and will await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field on Monday. The Vulcans and Golden Rams have been ranked first and second in the Atlantic region for most of the year and should receive two of the top seeds in the region.

The Vulcans were playing in the first penalty kick shootout in program history. West Chester was playing their second game in a row to be decided by penalty kicks.

The game was a defensive battle throughout regulation and into overtime as both teams struggled to get good looks at the net. Each team tallied nine shots in the contest with the Vulcans putting seven of them on goal to the Golden Rams five. Sophomore Carley Work (Hopewell, Pa./Hopewell) paced the Vulcan offense with three shots on the afternoon, while classmate Kayla Fransko (Monongahela, Pa./Ringgold) and freshman Bethany Smyda (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) added two shots each.

Junior Paula Jackson (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmers Trust) made saves on all five West Chester shots on goal and has now made 65 saves in almost 1,900 minutes of play this season. The Academic-All District goalkeeper has allowed only six goals in 21 games this season and with the shutout broke the schools single-season shutout record of 12, which she set last season en route to All-PSAC laurels.

Cal U shot first in the best-of-five penalty kick round. Work missed on the first attempt for the Vulcans and West Chesters Sarah Oswald beat Jackson to put the Golden Rams ahead, 1-0. Junior Kristen Orrett (Pickering, Ontario/Pickering) went second for Cal U and beat West Chester keeper Lyndsie Bernardini and when the Golden Rams Devon Swaim missed on her attempt, the score was knotted at 1-1 after two rounds.

Vulcan junior Sara Di Benedetto (Maple, Ontario/St. Elizabeth Catholic) was unable to score on her attempt and West Chesters Kim Shoup converted her opportunity to put the hosts up 2-1. Freshman Tonya Fabian (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) evened the score at 2-2 by beating Bernardini, but Lara Bodenstab gave West Chester the lead back at the end of the fourth round, 3-2.

Junior Darija Davidson (Courtice, Ontario/St. Stephens) momentarily gave the Vulcans continued life in the conference championship match before Jessica Bennett was able to score on Jackson to allow West Chester to escape narrowly in penalty kicks, 4-3.

Championship selections will take place November 8. Selections will be announced at 7 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, November 8 via a webcast selection show on