CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Queens University of Charlotte, ranked 12th in the nation, hosted No. 6 West Chester and lost 6-5 on Sunday. The Royals fell to 5-3 on the season with the non-conference loss, while the Golden Rams opened their season with a win.
With steady rainfall at the start of the game, both teams took some time to get into a rhythm. Queens took advantage on a free-position-shot opportunity for Abigail Paulus to get on the board first. The freshman attacker would score on the shot with 12:56 to put the first point of the day on the scoreboard. She then came back a little over a minute later to score an unassisted goal and put Queens ahead 2-0. That score would stand until the break.
Junior goalkeeper Danielle Horoschak totaled six saves in the first 30 minutes of action.
The Golden Rams would get on the board for the first time 2:18 into the second half when Dina Cifelli found the back of the net. Queens' Jena Ready had an answer for the goal, but not until nearly 10 minutes had ticked off the clock. The two teams then traded goals making the score 4-2 in Queens' favor with 14:50 to play.
West Chester’s Oliva Martin sparked a run by scoring a goal with 11:33 on the clock. She then followed that score with another one 14 seconds later to tie the game at 4-4. A goal from Hanna Cowan followed giving the Golden Rams their first lead of the game.
Queens' Paulus knotted the game once again at 5-5 with her second free-position-goal of the game with 2:13 to play. Following her goal, West Chester won the draw control at the circle and after nearly losing the ball, they were able to score a goal to take a 6-5 lead with 45 seconds to play.
After Bridgette Larranaga collected the draw control, Queens head coach Julika Blankenship called her final timeout with 23 ticks on the clock. Out of the break, the Royals ran what looked like the perfect play as Kelly Dowd curled off a screen for a wide open shot that West Chester's Jess Henderson saved. The Golden Rams scooped up the ground ball and raced down the field as time expired.
The Royals outshot West Chester 30-18 and won the battle for ground balls, 29-16. West Chester won the battle for draw controls, 9-4.
Paulus finished the game with a hat trick and an assist to lead Queens, while Ready added two goals. The Royals' stifling defense totaled 15 caused turnovers with Brittany Larranaga and Aarika Kaester notching three apiece. Horoschak finished in the cage with nine saves.
Martin led the Golden Rams with three goals, while Cowan tallied two. Henderson took the win in goal after totaling 10 stops.