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Local Soccer Notebook: November 6, 2017

Philadelphia native plays in front of 11K; La Salle women win Atlantic 10 title in dramatic fashion

Freeman Dwamena in the Blue-Green Rivalry match with UC Santa Barbara
Cal Poly Athletics

College soccer isn’t known for drawing large crowds, but the rivalry between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara has managed to regularly draw 10,000-plus fans to the two-game series they play every season.

Philadelphia native Freeman Dwamena, a freshman at Cal Poly, got to experience the rivalry for the first time while also ending his first season on a high note on October 28 when the Mustangs beat the Gauchos 4-1 in front of the 14th largest crowd ever to attend a regular season NCAA match (11,075).

“It was incredible,” the Philadelphia Union Academy grad said of the two games. “The crowds and environment were electric when compared to other sports throughout college. It was special because our team energy in the locker room and during training in days leading up to the game was amazing.”

The first game on October 14 ended a scoreless draw in front of 10,293. Dwamena played all 110 minutes of the first match and all 90 minutes of the second.

Downingtown native Zack Steffen and the Columbus Crew are moving on to the Eastern Conference finals after hanging on to beat New York City FC 4-3 on aggregate despite a 2-0 loss in the Bronx on Sunday. They’ll face Toronto FC, which has a local connection through goalkeeper coach Jon Conway, of Aston.

Rookie defender Colton Storm (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and the Swope Park Rangers are heading to the USL Cup final for the second straight season after advancing past OKC Energy on penalty kicks. Storm, on loan from Sporting Kansas City, scored a goal in the shootout, which went 11 rounds. He’s made 29 appearances and 28 starts this season. The final will be played at Louisville Slugger Field on Monday, November 13, at 9 p.m. and broadcast on ESPNU.

Temple is the lone local Division 1 men’s team advancing to the postseason after a 1-0 win over South Florida on Saturday night. They head to Dallas to take on top seed SMU on Friday. Senior Joonas Jokinen scored the lone goal in Saturday’s win, which spoiled the homecoming for Philadelphia Union Academy grads Josue Monge and Frederick Gil.

Saturday’s Philly Unity Cup final at Lincoln Financial Field will have Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia made the final last year, losing 1-0 to Ivory Coast.

Franklin & Marshall beat Dickinson 1-0 on Sunday to capture their first Centennial Conference Championship since 2013. Zach Colton (Tabernacle, N.J.) scored the lone goal from the spot in the 66th minute while goalkeeper Christopher Amorsuo made seven saves and was named conference tournament MVP.

Freshman John Griffin (Levittown, Pa.) scored off a rebound in the 72nd minute to lead Cabrini to a 1-0 win over Keystone in the Colonial States Athletic Conference final. Mike Gould (Huntington Valley, Pa.) made three saves to record the clean sheet.

Hernando Villamil (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored in the 87th minute to lead Penn State Abington to a 1-0 win over SUNY Poly and the program’s first North Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday.

Eastern, Rowan, Elizabethtown and Messiah all lost in their conference tournament finals.

Goldey-Beacom edged Jefferson 2-1 in overtime in the Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference final on a goal by South African freshman Nicholas Ladeira.

Jo Pannucio (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal off a free kick in the fifth minute to give East Stroudsburg its first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title since 2007. The Warriors advanced to the championship after beating West Chester in a penalty shootout. West Chester won the regular season title after going 11-0-0 in conference play.

Penn State Brandywine captured a second straight Penn State University Athletic Conference title with a 3-1 win over Penn State Hazleton, earning an automatic bid into the USCAA Tournament.

Camden County College is the No. 3 seed in the NJCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship after compiling a 16-3-0 record. They play Suffolk County on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Herkimer, New York.

Maci Bower scored the golden goal in the 108th minute to give La Salle women’s soccer the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Penn Fusion Academy alumna Haleigh Echard (Lebanon, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal in the 79th minute to lead Penn State’s women’s soccer team to the Big Ten Tournament title on Monday.

In other women’s soccer, Arcadia stunned Messiah in overtime to win the MAC Commonwealth, Swarthmore won the Centennial Conference Championship, Cabrini won the Colonial States Athletic Conference title and Penn State Berks won its fifth straight NEAC women’s title.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championship brackets have been set for boys and girls with the first round kicking off on Tuesday.

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships for Division 1 and Division 2 kick off this week (D1 Bracket, D2 Bracket).

New Jersey will have its sectional semifinals and finals this week. has all the brackets.

It’s not often that middle school soccer makes the news but a new middle school team in Chester played its first ever home game last week against Academy Park.

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