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Drexel co-Philly Soccer Six champions after win over Saint Joseph’s

The Dragons earned a share of the city championship for the first time since 2010

Drexel University senior forward Mathias Ebbesen
Matt Ralph

After falling down two inside 15 minutes, Drexel scored four unanswered goals and held onto a 4-3 win over city rivals Saint Joseph’s at home on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Dragons get to share the Philly Soccer Six title with Villanova, which came from behind to tie Saint John’s 1-1 in Big East play at home. Drexel last captured the city title in 2010 while ‘Nova is a three-time defending champion. Both teams had four points out of their two matches that count for the city title.

Drexel (9-5-3) finished its regular season with a 6-0-2 mark outside of Colonial Athletic Association action, but will need help to extend their season into the six-team conference tournament.

Their city title bid didn’t start out too great in front of the home fans at Vidas Field on Wednesday night. The Hawks opened the scoring with a penalty from Leon Maric (Gilbertsville, Pa.) and went up 2-0 on Ritchie Barry’s seventh of the year less than seven minutes later.

Sophomore midfielder Neil Boyal, a Seattle Sounders Academy grad, helped lead the comeback less than a minute later when he scored his first collegiate goal off an assist from Joey Martini (Chester Springs, Pa.) and the Dragons put the ball in the back of the net three more times before halftime. Laolu Daranijo (his third) and Mathias Ebbesen (his eighth) both had unassisted goals and Ebbesen’s cross found the head of Griffin Mallas two minutes before halftime to make it 4-2 to the Dragons.

Ritchie scored his eighth of the year to make it 4-3 in the 74th minute on a loose ball in front of the net, but that’s as close as the Hawks would come in their own comeback bid.

While the Dragons can only sit back and wait to see if their season has ended, the Hawks have two more key Atlantic 10 matches left on the year as they seek a postseason berth. They visit Rhode Island on Saturday and host Saint Louis on Halloween night to close the regular season.

La Salle closes out their season on Saturday at home against Fordham looking for their first conference win of the season. They picked up a non-conference overtime win last week over NJIT on an overtime goal from Soji Olatoye. The goal was the Canadian forward’s sixth of the season and followed a 56th minute equalizer from Jesper Lenander.

The win was the first for the Explorers (3-10-3, 0-4-3) since September 1.

Villanova’s postseason hopes took another hit on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw to St. John’s at home. After a scoreless first half, the Wildcats fell behind on a goal from Tani Oluwaseyi but Zach Zandi and Yusuf Cueceoglu linked up four minutes later to tie the game. The goal was Cueceoglu’s sixth of the year to tie Zandi for the team lead. Zandi’s third assist of the season tied him with Enda O’Neill for the team lead.

Villanova has two more games, both conference clashes, left at Providence on Saturday and at home against Seton Hall next Wednesday. They currently are in last place in the conference standings, four points behind DePaul or the sixth and final postseason spot.

Temple’s winless streak extended to five games after a 2-1 loss at UConn and a scoreless draw with Penn on Tuesday in their seventh overtime contest of the season.

Elias Villegas opened the scoring in Storrs on Saturday night with his second of the year in the 39th minute but Abdou Mbacke Thiam’s 10th and 11th goals of the season gave the Huskies the 2-1 win in front of 4,840 fans at Morrone Stadium.

Penn’s offensive woes continued despite picking up a 1-1 draw at Yale last Saturday after Jake Kohlbrenner tied the game with his first goal of the season in the 84th minute. Their scoreless draw against Temple was the eighth time they’ve been shut out this season and the seventh of nine overtime games that have gone to double overtime.

As a team, they’ve only scored six times but have conceded just 11 goals in 12 games while compiling a 2-4-6 overall record and 0-3-1 mark in Ivy League play.

The Quakers still have time to end their season on a high note with conference games against Brown, Princeton and Harvard and a non-conference home game against Delaware on Tuesday.