West Chester United opened its National Premier Soccer League era with a 3-1 win over a familiar opponent on a rain-soaked Saturday night in West Chester.
Kicking off their Keystone Conference schedule and the inaugural Kildare’s Cup, it was the visitors that nearly drew first blood when Vandy Slueue connected with Anthony Allison on a long searching ball. Allison’s quick chip shot however hit the top of the bar.
By the time Allison did find the back of the net - on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute - the Stars were down pair of goals, both of which were scored less than a minute apart toward the latter stages of the first half.
The first came off a cross from Ben Maurey that found the head of Joe Sales at the far post, where he was able to head the ball down and past Stars goalkeeper Prince Monyan. Moments later, Jake Lister dispossessed a defender, took a couple touches and blasted the ball past Monyan to his left to make it 2-0 going into the break.
Lister, who was seemingly everywhere for West Chester on the night, nearly made it 3-0 when he made a filthy turn and touch on the ball to get around a defender and free himself for a one-v-one chance in front of goal. Monyan made a fine kick save to deny the former Temple midfielder.
Less than 15 minutes later, the visitors were back into the game with Allison’s PK, that was awarded after the referee ruled that Lycoming defender Jordan Logan had made contact on his way to winning the ball off Allison just inside the 18.
With the Stars pressing for an equalizer and coming close a couple times on set pieces, West Chester were able to tack on a third goal off the counter by Villanova forward Max Kroschwitz, a second half substitute.
West Chester United returns home to face Hershey FC next Saturday while Junior Lone Star FC opens their home slate at Bonner & Prendergast in Lansdowne against Buxmont Torch. The two teams will decide the inaugural Kildare’s Cup in the return fixture on June 7.