IUP lacrosse’s winning streak came to an end Saturday with an 18-9 loss to West Chester on senior day.
West Chester was the best team in the PSAC and the seventh ranked team in the nation coming into Saturday. The Golden Rams lost only two games all season and one in the conference. Both of West Chester’s two losses came in overtime.
West Chester’s success comes from its efficiency on both sides of the game. In the 16 games played, the Golden Rams put up double-digit goals in all but two of them, and they lead the PSAC in goals scored and margin of victory while giving up the least amount of goals.
With that being said, IUP has a higher shot efficiency and save percentage than the West Chester team.
The Crimson Hawks came into the game riding the momentum of their seven-game winning streak.
The first nine minutes of the game were all IUP as they scored three goals and took an early lead. Ally Burrows (senior, biology) helped lead the way for IUP as she scored one and had one assist to start the game.
But West Chester quickly bounced back and completely took control of the game.
Within four minutes of the Golden Rams’ first goal, they tied the game. The three goals came in a run of eight unanswered West Chester goals.
Late in the first half, IUP looked to make a push to bring the team back into the game before halftime. Burrows and Shannon Hartigan (junior, pre-vet) each scored a goal in the last six minutes to bring IUP within three at the end of the half.
Despite closing the first half strong, the second half did not go how IUP had hoped.
The first goal of the half came seven minutes in when the Golden Rams extended their lead to four. The Crimson Hawks quickly retaliated with Kathryn Zeiler (sophomore, undeclared) scoring 58 seconds later.
Following Zeiler’s goal, West Chester looked to put an end to the game and did just that.
The Golden Rams scored eight unanswered goals in less than 15 minutes to take an 11-goal lead. In the final five minutes of the game, IUP made a final push scoring three goals. However, the three goals did nothing to affect the outcome of the game as West Chester won 18-9.
“It is easy for us to stay humble because of how competitive our conference is,” Burrows said. “No game in the PSAC is an easy game. We aren’t perfect, and we know we have to keep working our way up.”
IUP will now have to quickly bounce back as they prepare for the start of the PSAC playoffs when they face Seton Hill at home Tuesday.
The Crimson Hawks were tied with the Griffins in conference record but earned the fourth seed and the home game as a result of a better head-to-head record.
Tuesday’s game begins at 4 p.m., and admission is free for students, $10 for adults and $5 for children.