April 15, 2011

West Chester Upends No. 3 Lock Haven

from press release

– Devon Lotkowski and Nicole Pyle each registered a hat trick, but it was defense that shined in the second half as seventh-ranked West Chester upset third-ranked Lock Haven, 13-12, on the road at Charlotte Smith Field in a pivotal PSAC women's lacrosse match Friday afternoon.

West Chester (11-2, 9-0 PSAC) took over sole possession of first place with the win over Lock Haven (12-1, 8-1), who was tied with the Rams entering Friday's showdown. West Chester now sits in the driver's seat for the regular-season crown and the right to host the PSAC semifinals, which goes along with that title.

"We needed this one," WCU head coach Ginny Martino said.

Lock Haven scored the game's final three goals to pull within a single marker with 94 seconds left. However, the Golden Rams' defense tightened around goalkeeper MacKenzie O'Keefe and shut down the Lady Eagles the rest of the way.

"In the first half, we left their cutter's sticks free," Martino said. "I told them that we had to be much tighter on them. Collectively, our entire defense didn't give (Lock Haven) many good looks. We played great denial 'D' in the second half."

West Chester scored twice in the final minute of the first half to go into halftime tied at 7-apiece. The Rams then tallied three times in the first six minutes of the second half to open up a 10-8 advantage. That 5-1 run proved to be the turning point of the contest.

O'Keefe provided the heroics, stopping All-American Allison Berger on a breakaway from the restraining line in, during the second half.

"(O'Keefe) played a phenomenal game," Martino added. "She stoned Berger on that breakaway, and that was a big lift for us mentally."

West Chester held Lock Haven scoreless over a 14-minute span in the second half with stingy defense. The Eagles' Gwen Buss tallied at the 19:45 mark to pull the hosts to within one (10-9). However, the Rams responded with three straight goals to take a commanding 13-9 lead.

Lotkowski and Pyle finished with three goals. Shannon Hayes had one goal and five assists. Claire Grimwood scored twice and assisted on two others.

West Chester travels to Indiana (Pa.) for a league contest on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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