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West Chester United knocked out of NPSL playoffs in penalty shootout

Three days after coming out on top penalties against Junior Lone Star, West Chester United’s NPSL season came to an end on penalties at FC Motown

Matt Ralph

West Chester United’s playoff run in the National Premier Soccer League was cut short Saturday night in a penalty shootout at Drew University in New Jersey.

Trying to beat FC Motown for a third straight time — once in NPSL play and once en route to the National Amateur Cup semifinals — West Chester was able to capitalize on a mistake in the back and take a 1-0 lead through Chas Wilson that they held until the 90th minute. The goal was the eighth of the season for Wilson.

West Chester held on to the lead through almost the entire rest of the game. But just when it looked like they might be headed back home to Pennsylvania with another victory over their division rivals and a Keystone Conference championship, the home team equalized and eventually sent the game to penalties after two scoreless extra time periods.

Coming off a 4-3 penalty shootout win in South Philly on Wednesday over Junior Lone Star, West Chester shot first and staked an early lead with a kick from captain Michael Gonzalez. But after each team converted three kicks, West Chester stumbled first when Troy Amspacher’s spot kick drifted wide of the mark. After Motown converted again, West Chester goalkeeper Charlie Sales took to the spot, but his attempt sailed over the bar.

Owning the fifth best points per game percentage of the six finalists, West Chester United was well off the mark needed to qualify for the wild card spot in the Northeast Region playoffs. FC Baltimore secured that place after they lost to FC Frederick in the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship game.

With their second season in NPSL now complete, West Chester United will turn its attention to the Northeast Elite Soccer League and the National Amateur Cup semifinal in Wisconsin on August 3.