No matter what conference you play in, running the table is extremely rare in college soccer but that’s a feat the West Chester University men’s soccer team can boast this season.
The Golden Rams went 11-0-0 in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference this season, thanks in part to a player who grew up in the shadow of the university, senior captain Brett Glasco.
The Rustin High School grad was one of five players on the team to receive all-conference honors after finishing tied for second on the team with four goals and in a three-way tie for first with 10 points. He’s the only one of the group, which includes goalkeeper Matt Palmer (Bangor, Pa.), defenders Tim French (Bensalem, Pa.) and Kyle Hoops (Phoenixville, Pa.) and forward Doug Goitia (Mount Pocono, Pa.) from West Chester.
Reserve goalkeeper James Wood, a teammate of Glasco’s on West Chester United’s NPSL team last summer shares that distinction.
“This means a lot to me,” Glasco said of the team’s success, which has put them in position to host an NCAA Tournament match for the first time in the school’s DII era. “We have a great group of guys who have worked extremely hard and being able to see it pay off is remarkable.”
To continue a pathway toward a national championship already paved by the baseball team earlier this year, the Golden Rams have to first get by a familiar foe in East Stroudsburg.
The Warriors poured cold water on West Chester’s season-long dominance with a PK shootout win a week ago to capture the conference tournament title after a scoreless draw. West Chester won the first meeting at home 2-0 on September 12 behind a brace from Colin Hester and one of nine clean sheets on the season for Matt Palmer.
“As for playing ESU again, we assumed and hoped that would be the case after the semifinal game last week,” Glasco said. “We are all pretty bitter about it and can’t wait for the rematch.”
Beyond the familiarity of the conference rival, East Stroudsburg also has one of Glasco’s former teammates with the Philadelphia Union Academy in Brett Levano, who was named second team all-conference after scoring three goals and delivering a pair of assists this season. Glasco and Levano played on the first ever Union U18 team in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2013-14.
Saturday’s second round game - both teams earned a first-round bye - will be played at 1 p.m. at Rockwell Field.
Like in any knockout competition the main goal tomorrow will be to survive and advance to the next round. In doing so, Glasco hopes to make his hometown proud.
“(Being from West Chester) has always been a motivation,” he said. “Coming through all of the ranks that this area has to offer, from WCUSC recreational leagues to Philadelphia Union Academy, I have tried to make all my old coaches proud.”