The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

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The Vulcans Wepner The Rocks

The Vulcans Battled Against Slippery Rock
Nathan Kurtz
Vulcan Women’s Soccer

Under the blazing afternoon Saturday sun, the Vulcans ordered a neat Shirley Temple, holding back the visiting Rocks.

Slippery Rock epitomized their mascot. Six-foot defender Faith Diffenbacher exemplified the Rocks’ superior physical might. On Saturday, the central defender was one of the strongest people at Phippsburg; fan or player. The visitors were built for corporeal dominance.

The Vulcans might not have the size of their namesake, but they thrive under the forge’s heat. Katey Bern warded her back line with tenacity. Caelin Thomas has developed into a bulldog in the back, fashioning the suppressor into the suppressed. Izabella DeGlopper bounded up and down the left flank the entire game, far past logical fatigue. Junior Lilly Hanson handled her right flank responsibilities well, especially against Rock graduate-student Ashley Rea.

Lady Fate and self-made grit kept the hosts in the first half. Vulcan goalkeeper Emily Ouimet made a diving save to her right in the 3rd minute. The visitors should’ve scored off of an off-the-post shot in the 27th minute. All three Vulcan midfielders, Bromiley, Romeis and Sims (“Coop”), controlled the game when they could. The Vulcan forwards left footprints in the eardrums of Rock defenders with their inconsistent pressing. Through the grace of fate and grit, the Vulcans held the fans’ breath through the first half.

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Then rosy hope tinted the fans’ coronas during the second half. The Vulcans might tie down the Rocks. Glow, but don’t burn. Hope, but don’t dream. The job was not done.

The physicality only increased after intermission. Like NFL center Jason Kelce blocking nosetackle Chris Jones, Vulcan Romeis shielded her goalkeeper, Ouimet, from the jostling Diffenbacher for most of the visitors’ second-half corners. Hanson pickpocketed Rea every time the graduate-student tried dancing past the Vulcan defender. Kaitlin Bickhart’s glancing 73rd-minute header just missed the Rocks’ goal, watering the myth of victory in the hearts of the home crowd. The Vulcans had their chances to upset, but none of their four shots found the back of the net. The visitors ripped in six shots each half. Ouimet racked up eight saves by the final whistle. The girls in white bent, but didn’t break.

Some afternoons are inconsequential, Saturday’s was anything but. The Vulcans made their Mamas proud. They made us, their fellow classmates, proud. Goliath came knocking, mallet in hand, and met his equal. Slippery Rock sits third best in the PSAC Western conference, California stands third from the bottom. They met in the middle, California Rockyed the Rocks, and stood tall after twelve rounds.

With the draw, the Vulcans move within a win of 6th place in the PSAC West. Slippery Rock maintained their place at 3rd.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Vulcans battled a titan away at Mercyhurst and fell to the Lakers who now sit at 8-0. The Vulcans take on the Fighting Scots at Edinboro on Saturday, Oct. 7.

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About the Contributor
Nathan Kurtz
Nathan Kurtz, Staff Writer/Photographer
Class 2026 Sports Management Major. Sports photographer and member of CUTV and WCAL

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