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Villanova dominates Penn

Miguel Polley leads the Wildcats to lopsided victory; La Salle edges Dayton and Saint Joseph’s falls on the road



Senior Eric McKenna scored his first career goal and Miguel Polley had a goal and two assists to lead Villanova to a lopsided win over Philadelphia Soccer Six rivals Penn on Wednesday.

Polley opened the scoring for the Wildcats (7-5-2) with a free kick from the left side that found senior Eric McKenna in the 12th minute for his first career goal.

McKenna has been filling in for the injured Nikkye DePoint at center back and did well on Wednesday pairing with freshman Shane Bradley to keep the visiting Quakers (3-4-5) off the board in a match where they outshot the home team 16-7.

Lucas Hodges was the benefit of Polley’s set piece mastery just seven minutes later when he headed home a free kick from the right flank that Penn keeper Nick Savino (Moorestown, N.J.) could do nothing to stop.

Villanova threatened to pile on with the introduction of Philadelphia Union Academy grad Zach Zandi off the bench, who sprung Padraic McCullaugh for a dangerous shot attempt from the top of the box that sailed wide just before the break.

Penn threatened themselves with attacks from the right side that tested backup left back Kian Zapata (making his second straight start for Christopher Bared) and a long range shot that nearly caught Nova keeper Will Steiner off guard.

But it was Polley again, this time combining with freshman forward Jacob Anderson for his third goal of the season who put the game away in the 61st minute. Lucas Hodges bagged his second of the day and brought his team-leading goal haul for the season to six. McCullaugh added an assist to give him three in his last two games and five for the season.

Steiner finished the game with five saves to record his third clean sheet of the year while the Nova offense put all four of their shots on target in the back of the net.

La Salle edge Dayton; Saint Joseph’s tripped up at VCU

Philadelphia Union Academy grad Cameron Keys recorded his fourth career clean sheet and Sixtus Akinlosotu scored his first career goal to give the Explorers a crucial 1-0 win over visiting Dayton on Wednesday evening.

Keys (Allentown, Pa.) made three saves to keep the Flyers off the board in his second start of the season and make Akinlosotu’s 20th minute goal stand. The goal-scoring play started off a Zach Rutherford throw that was deflected by Johnny Ciarlante to a wide open Akinlosotu in front of the net.

With the win, the Explorers evened their overall record at 7-7-0 and improved to 2-3-0 in Atlantic 10 play.

After starting the conference season with three straight wins, Saint Joseph’s are now 3-3-0 in Atlantic 10 play after a 2-0 loss on the road at VCU Wednesday.

VCU picked up goals each side of halftime from Jorge Herranz and Luc Fatton to improve to 3-1-1 in conference play. Hawks goalkeeper Greg O’Connell made four saves in the losing effort while the offense only managed one shot on goal.

Rider top Iona on Aguinaga goal

Rider ran their conference record to 4-1-2 with a 2-1 win over Iona to stay unbeaten at home this season on Wednesday.

Junior Jose Aguinaga record his sixth assist of the season to set up Elliott Otmani for the opening goal in the 12th minute and converted from the penalty spot in the 71st minute to give the Broncs the win after a 35th minute equalizer from Daniel Huertas.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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