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West Chester United opens USL League Two campaign with convincing win



Photo by Matthew Ralph

West Chester United opened the USL League Two campaign with a bang, scoring five goals in their season opener at Philadelphia Lone Star on Saturday afternoon amidst a congested portion of their schedule.

Josh Pulla came out firing for the visitors, setting up the first goal for Youri Senden and then adding two of his own before halftime off assists from Ken Robe and Patrick Short. The Drexel grad from Ontario came off at halftime with an important USL of Pennsylvania league game to follow the next day.

“Especially first game of the season you want to get on the board early,” Pulla said. “It was good for us defensively, we kept zeroes right away, got a couple goals and I was lucky to get on the score sheet.”

Marcus Brenes (Yassine Elkahloun) and Dominic Bachstein (Patrick Cayelli) added goals in the second half to seal the convincing victory and Eric Axtman recorded the clean sheet in goal.

Lone Star went down to 10 men when Marco Bla was sent off in the 87th minute of what was a frustrating home opener that featured a couple extended stoppages for injuries and referee protests. Starting goalkeeper Flannan Riley had to exit the match in the 43rd minute after an injury but Goodwill Agbaadem did well after coming in, making a couple of big stops to keep West Chester from blowing the game open even more.

Drexel connections loomed large on the day for West Chester with 8 of the day goal contributions coming via current or former Drexel players.

“They look like they have a lot of games together,” head coach Blaise Santangelo said. “That team should’ve been a team that made the tournament, they were so close. We always knew they had a lot of talent. We love it, we love the Drexel Dragons.”

The two rivals won’t have to wait long for a rematch with West Chester’s next League Two game coming May 21 at home against Lone Star. Before that game Lone Star will host Real Central NJ at Widener University on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. LVU Rush will also host Reading United in both team’s season opener. Reigning Mid-Atlantic Division champs Ocean City Nor’easters don’t kick off until May 25, at home against Lone Star.

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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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