It’s been 580 days since Dane Jacomen last suited up in a competitive game for Penn — a 2-0 win against Harvard in November 2019 — but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to make a name for himself in the amateur ranks.
With Ivy League soccer still shut down from the pandemic, Jacomen has spent the past year playing in multiple competitions for West Chester United, suiting up about three dozen times while garnering the kind of attention that doesn’t always come easily during a hectic college season.
“Dane is playing lights out,” West Chester United head coach Blaise Santangelo said after Jacomen recorded his eighth clean sheet of the season in USL League Two earlier this week. “We feel he is the best goalie in the country. He’s playing at the highest level and he’s showing it consistently.”
The Pittsburgh native, who played for the DC United Academy in high school, checked in as the No. 31 prospect in USL League Two’s most recent top prospects list on the strength of his performances in West Chester United’s inaugural season in the league.
“It’s been a very challenging season for all of us college guys on the team, a lot of guys in my position that had their quote unquote regular season taken from them,” Jacomen said. “But I think we’ve all really bonded really well together as a group, we come out and train three, four times consistently per week and just put in the work on the training ground.”
While Jacomen has come up with a string of highlight-reel saves, former Villanova teammates Shane Bradley and Luca Mellor have been a big part of the back line success for the Predators. In fact, when asked about the individual accolades he’s been getting he’s quick to deflect the attention to the center backs in front of him.
“They’re on one wavelength,” Jacomen said of the duo, who have lost count by now of the number of games they’ve played together between Villanova and this team. “It’s been a blast playing behind them; they’ve made it really easy to step in.”
To Jacomen’s credit, he’s also made his position look easy at times turning difficult saves into routine stops.
“We believe he’s a next level player,” Santangelo said.