Games of October 24 – 30, 2023
October 30, 2023 –
It is the final week for some of our teams, but others have more to play for this season. The Drexel Dragons will move on to play in the CAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. The quarterfinal opponent for the 5th seeded Dragons will be a familiar foe, the #4 Delaware Blue Hens. These teams tied 3 – 3 on October at Vidas Field. This game will be on Thursday, November 2 in Hempstead, NY the home of the top seeded Hofstra Pride. The semifinal game will be on Sunday, November 5th. Temple is playing for a postseason berth in their final game against #4 SMU. The University of Pennsylvania is going to the Ivy League postseason. During the week our local D1 teams posted a 3 – 2 – 3 record. Let’s look at the week in review.
Drexel Dragons (9 – 2 – 4, 3 – 2 – 3 CAA)
Drexel warmed up for the tournament with a 6 – 0 win over FDU at Vidas Field to end the regular season undefeated at home this year. The 6 goal outburst was the first since the 2009 season. The goals were scored by; midfielder Patrick Short who had two, defenseman Isaiah Whittaker-Francis, midfielder Antonio Illuminato who also recorded an assist, forward Stephen Appiah, and forward Joshua Pulla to go along with an assist. Defenseman Collin Davis set up two of the scores. Drexel had a huge 27 – 3 edge in shots, and 12 – 1 in shots on goal. Pulla and midfielder Harrison Coron led the team with 4 shots apiece. Now, it is the postseason that awaits.
Temple Owls (3 – 7 -4, 2 – 3 – 2 The American)
The Owls posted a 5 – 1 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Temple Sports Complex. The offensive outburst was the most goals scored since 2004. Sophomore midfielder Felix Ewald scored twice and assisted on another goal for the most points scored in a single game this year. He leads the team in goals (7), assist (5), and points with 16. Midfielder Elias Betancourt had a goal and an assist for a career-high 3-point game. Forwards Juan Zepeda and Lucas Hitters scored a goal. Temple sits one-point ahead of USF for the final berth in the American Tournament and has a game on Wednesday against SMU in Texas. Stay Tuned!
Penn Quakers (6 – 3 – 5, 3 – 1 – 2 Ivy League)
Penn clinched a spot in the Ivy League Men’s Soccer Tournament with a 1 – 0 win over the Columbia Lions in New York. Midfielder Michael Hewes scored on a penalty kick in the 13th minute to provide the margin of victory. It was his team-high 7th of the season. In shots the teams were level at 10-each, yet Columbia had 4 on goal for which goalie Nick Christoffersen made the save. It is his 7th shutout of this campaign. The Quakers are on a three-game winning streak. The regular season closes on Saturday at Penn Park with a game against arch-rival Princeton.
Villanova Wildcats (1 – 8 – 7, 1 – 4 – 3 BIG EAST)
The hopes for a post-season berth ended for the Villanova Wildcats with a 3 – 3 tie at DePaul. Seton Hall got the last available spot. The game was tied at 2 with the Wildcats taking a lead each time, but only to have the Blue Demons knot the game. Nova goals came from defenseman O’Neill Dawes and midfielder Branden Johns. DePaul took the lead at the 47:37 mark on a goal by Christian Baumgartner. Forward Balthi Saunders leveled the game just 1:18 later, a left footer off a pass from Belmar Joseph to the right hand side. Villanova had 22 shots, 10 on goal. Saunders led the way with 8, and 4 required a save. Midfielder Dominic Cyriacks had 4 shots with 2 on goal. Forward Mark Gonda scored twice for DePaul on 5 shots, 3 on goal. Villanova ended the regular season in Illinois with a 2 – 1 loss at UIC. All goals were scored in the first 30 minutes. Marcus Berends got the Villanova goal with the assist to Saunders. The Flames outshot the Wildcats 23 – 12, but only 8 – 7 on goal.
La Salle Explorers (5 – 8 – 4, 1 – 5 – 2 Atlantic 10)
The season wrapped up for the La Salle Explorers with a 1 – 1 draw with the Monmouth Hawks, then a 2 – 1 loss at Duquesne. After trailing 1 – 0 at halftime against Monmouth a score in the 64th minute by forward Justin Burnow, his first of the season, evened the contest. The visiting Hawks had the better of the shot total 15 – 10 via a 10 – 5 edge in the first half. The Explorers got the better of the stat 7 – 5 in the second. La Salle fell on the Bluffs 2 – 1 at Duquesne. Midfielder Dylan Kwasnik scored to give the Explorers a 1 – 0 lead in the 12th minute. It was his first collegiate goal. Midfielder Drew Blackwell got the assist. Ask Ekeland scored the next two for the Dukes with the winner in the 85th minute. This time the Explorers had the better of the shot total 18 – 11, 5 – 4 on goal. Forward Sean Yurgel led the locals with 3 shots.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks (4 – 11 – 2, 2 – 4 – 2 Atlantic 10)
A 3 – 3 tie at Saint Louis eliminated Saint Joseph’s from postseason contention. Saint Joe’s took the lead twice before the hosts tied it. Midfielder Alex Hood gave the Hawks their last lead of the game in the 81st minute, a right-footer, low and to the far post. Midfielder Truls Braendvang assisted on the goal. The Billikens tied it with 1:29 on the clock. SJU midfielder Blake Driehuis got his team-leading 8th goal of the year. Matias Mancini scored his first of the season at just under the two-minute mark before halftime. Saint Louis netted the next two within 19 minutes of the second half to set up the dramatics in the last ten minutes. The three goals by the Hawks are the most allowed by the Billikens this season.
Written By: Glenn Papazian