The past two weeks have been rough for the West Chester University Men’s Soccer team.  The Golden Rams hosted the battle with East Stroudsburg University (5-4, 3-4 PSAC) on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Rockwell Field and took a shutout from the Warriors, 2-0.

East Stroudsburg jumped out early in the match when junior Casey Choffy scored thee first goal at the 10 minute mark. Junior forward Jonathan Stuppe added another goal for ESU in the 72nd minute to secure the victory for the Warriors. East Stroudsburg University saw great joy at the closing of the match up, coming off a 2-1 win at Lock Haven University, and totaling two consecutive PSAC wins for the first time since winning three straight in October 2011.

Freshman goalkeeper Matt Palmer made two saves for the Golden Rams, while giving up two goals in the loss. However, the Golden Rams made East Stroudsburg’s goalkeeper J.B. Pahls earn the victory, recording seven saves during game time. Aiding the Rams with pressure was senior Christian Benner with two shots on the goal. In total, ESU held a 16-14 advantage in shots, with 9-4 in the first half. WCU took the margin in corner kicks however, 8-2.

The Golden Rams then took a trip to the city on Monday, Oct. 6 to take on non-conference opponent Philadelphia University.

Unfortunately, the squad was cut short again with a loss to Phila U, 3-2. Philadelphia’s midfielder Victor Chagonda put them up ahead early 1-0 in the first half by taking advantage of a Golden Ram miscue. On a free kick just over midfield in the 16th minute, Seiji Rose of Toulouse, France played a long ball into the box. West Chester’s Palmer punched the ball directly to Chagonda who deposited into the net for Philadelphia’s first point of the game.

Fifty-four seconds into the second half, Chagonda was awarded a penalty kick after being pulled down by West Chester’s Tim French. Chagonda went for the lower right corner with his attempt but was denied by junior Phil Horan who took over goalkeeper at the second half. The save turned around the game’s momentum toward West Chester as the Golden Rams took advantage, scoring twice in a 17 minute span.

Sophomore Wyatt Dungan scored his first career goal and the first goal for West Chester on Monday with a header in the 55th minute to tie up the game 1-1. Shortly after in the 72nd minute, freshman Alex Lean netted a sharp-angle shot, his second of the season, off an assist from Miguel Ross, giving the Golden Rams a short-lived lead 2-1.

With less than twenty minutes to play, Philadelphia responded with a tying goal made by midfielder Armando Canela, his first goal of the year. Rose then scored for Philadelphia with 7:27 left in regulation, closing the game a West Chester loss 3-2.

Palmer played the first half of the game before passing the goal to Horan, yielding one goal and making three saves. Horan, fighting through the intense second half, allowed a pair of goals and made two saves. Phila U outshot West Chester by a 19-8 margin. However, West Chester doubled up on corner kicks, 8-4.

The Golden Rams fell back 5-4-0 all games and 3-2-0 in the PSAC.  Head Coach Michael Benn commented on the squad, “We need to create more scoring chances and do a better job keeping possessions. Our defending has improved but we still need to do a better job finishing off games.”

The squad will travel away this week to Central  Pa. to take on Shippensburg Oct. 14 and then will be back at home for West Chester’s homecoming to take on Millersville University Oct.18 at 2:30 p.m.

Gianna Seeney is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at GS789405@wcupa.edu

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