West Chester blanks UMass-Lowell for second consecutive national title
LOWELL, Mass. -- For the second year in a row, the NCAA championship came down to West Chester against UMass-Lowell and the outcome was the same.
Defending national champion West Chester jumped out to an early lead and held it, defeating UMass-Lowell 5-0 on Sunday.
The margin of victory is the largest in the national championship since 2002.
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Senior Kayla Gluchowski got the Golden Rams on the board first, scoring just two minutes into play off an assist from Megan Callanan. The goal was Gluchowski's 14th of the season.
Before the River Hawks could strike back, junior Kelsi Lykens scored another goal for the Golden Rams, giving them a 2-0 lead.
West Chester continued to put pressure on the River Hawks back line through the first half. Ten minutes after Lykens' goal, freshman Alexis Versak tipped in junior Stef Pirri's shot attempt, pushing the lead to 3-0.
As first half play came to a close, UMass-Lowell's Bianca Jones got a penalty corner, but was unable to find the back of the cage.
Just one minute into the second half, senior Michele Schrift ripped a shot home to push the lead to 4-0. The goal was Schrift's 24th for the season.
With time running down, West Chester sealed the shutout with a score from sophomore Kelsey Cheek.
UMass-Lowell got a couple of good scoring opportunities in the closing minutes, but was not able to capitalize.