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Saint Joseph’s beats Drexel for the first time since 1996

The Hawks beat Drexel 2-0 in their home opener on Saturday

Matt Ralph

The sun was shining on Hawk Hill and the offense was clicking with a goal in each half for Saint Joseph’s in their home opening 2-0 win over Drexel on Saturday.

Senior midfielder Alan Kahlenbeck, in his second game back since 2018 after missing all of 2019, put the hosts up in the 19th minute when he converted a penalty kick from the spot. Senior Jack Hirschfield, making his first career start, drew the penalty.

With the one-goal lead, Saint Joseph’s was able to limit Drexel’s chances and frustrate an attack that was missing striker Chris Donovan. After making two early saves, goalkeeper Kyle Allan saw just two more shots on goal the rest of the way in recording his first career clean sheet.

David Grana padded the lead with a goal 52nd minute off a feed in the box from James Fletcher and Drexel’s comeback bid was stunted when Michael McCarthy was shown a second yellow in the 78th minute.

“I was very pleased with how we started the game attacking aggressively, which I thought set the tone early,” head coach Don D’Ambra said. “It was a great defensive team effort to get the shutout, as well. It was an excellent team performance on both ends of the ball.”

The win was the first for the program over their Philly Soccer Six rivals since September 7, 1996.

Drexel won’t have to wait long for a rematch. The two teams will play again this Wednesday night at Vidas Field.

In other men’s college soccer action, Villanova dropped their second straight match by a 3-0 score line in their Big East debut against 2019 national champions Georgetown. The Wildcats (0-3-0) host Providence Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Temple (1-3-0) dropped their third straight conference match in a rematch with South Florida at home on Saturday night. Amir Cohen put the Owls up early with his second of the season in the 22nd minute but the Bulls scored twice before halftime on goals assisted by Philadelphia native Josue Monge. Things won’t get any easier with SMU coming to town Saturday night.

La Salle (2-1-0) won 5-3 in a shootout at Mount Saint Mary’s on Thursday night. Junior Nare, Omari Cotterell, Ike Hollinger, Scott Beeks and Justin Brunow chipped in goals in the Explorers’ second win of the season. They host Drexel on Saturday night at 8 p.m.