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Buckwalter, Callanan help WCU defend NCAA title
This year’s NCAA Division-II field hockey championship game turned out to be a rematch of the 2011 showdown.
And for West Chester, it was deja vu all over again, as the Lady Golden Rams took a 3-0 halftime lead and never looked back on their way to successfully defending their title with a 5-0 shutout of UMass-Lowell last Sunday at the Cushing Field Complex in Lowell, Mass. West Chester ended the season on a 10-game winning streak.
Warwick High School grad Megan Callanan assisted on the game’s first tally, setting up senior teammate Kayla Gluchowski for her 14th goal of the season to give West Chester a 1-0 lead in the second minute of the contest.
Warwick product Carly Buckwalter and Penn Manor’s Nancy Stehman also played for the Lady Golden Rams, who improved their final record to 20-2, tying the school’s single-season record for wins (1977, 1978) while capturing their sixth national championship in program history. West Chester also won four straight AIAW field hockey national championships from 1975 to 1978.
West Chester’s five-goal win over the Lady River Hawks was the largest margin of victory in the national championship since 2002.
Lady Rams’ head coach Amy Cohen improved her record to 37-6 in her two seasons as head coach, with two NCAA titles and one conference crown. On West Chester’s web site, she was quoted as saying, ""This has been just an amazing experience. It was such a wonderful family experience (in Boston). The stands were full of West Chester family, friends and supporters. They were tailgating all weekend like it was a Penn State football game. Everybody from the parents, to the administration to the fans had a hand in this championship."
Junior Kelsi Lykens and freshman Alexis Versak also scored first-half goals for WCU, Following the intermission, Michele Schrift blasted home her 24th goal of the season for the Lady Golden Rams and Kelsey Cheek’s tally with time winding down sealed West Chester’s shutout victory.
Their back-to-back NCAA crowns marks the first time in school history that any sport has earned that accomplishment. The Lady Golden Rams also joined the women’s lacrosse program as the only sport with multiple NCAA championships. Overall, the field hockey team’s 5-0 shutout of UMass-Lowell was the sixth NCAA championship for West Chester University. Baseball (2012) and men’s soccer (1961) have the other two. More NCAA CHAMPS, page B-5