|Staff photo by Brad Spahr/ West Chester Rustin's John Swarts, right, and West Chester East's Matthew MacCrory battle for the ball during Tuesday's game.|
By BRAD SPAHR
WEST GOSHEN - The undefeated West Chester Rustin High School boys soccer team has been like a train moving full speed ahead this season -- looking to run over anything that gets in its way.
However, Golden Knights head coach Dave Tordone can’t stress enough to his squad how important it is to not overlook anybody. He knows they need to stay focused on each match one at a time so they avoid being derailed from the tracks.
Tuesday night could’ve been one of those pitfalls for West Chester Rustin as they traveled to Harold I. Zimmerman Stadium on a rainy night to battle their rivals, a physical West Chester East team chomping at the bit to hang the first loss of the season on their neighbors.
The Golden Knights didn’t allow any such thing to occur, though, as they played a very smart game and broke open a tight match at the half and turned it into a convincing 3-0 Ches-Mont League victory.
West Chester Rustin (9-0 American, 13-0-1 overall) kept its hold on sole possession of first place in the division with the shutout, with just over a week remaining in the regular season.
“I keep telling them one game at a time,” said Tordone. “It’s survival for us -- get through each one and get on to the next one.
“I’m pleased with the way they have stayed focused. This was a nice win for us tonight. We played really well against an aggressive team.”
Senior Jamison MacMain headed in two goals to pace the Golden Knights, who are the No. 1 ranked squad in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Coaches Poll. Fellow senior co-captain Nick Rohleder also scored.
MacMain gave Rustin a quick 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the contest when he scored on a terrific header from inside the box off Mike Hartman’s corner kick.
The score remained that way until 34:27 remaining when MacMain struck again. Teammate Jay Ringer sent an indirect kick into the box from about 35 yards out, and MacMain used his head again to beat West Chester East goalie Kyle Forsythe to make it 2-0.
If not for Forsythe, who was excellent with 11 saves on the evening, the score could’ve been even more lopsided.
Rohleder rounded out the scoring with 8:29 to go on a fantastic backwards flick from inside the box to redirect Adam Zarr’s shot for a goal.
“This was a great team win,” said MacMain. “We’re gunning for the league title and every game is going to be a battle. We know we have to come out and play every one like it’s the state championship.
“Right now we’re definitely playing at a high level. We’ve got to keep it up, because we have a long way to go.”
West Chester East (4-4-1 National, 5-8-1 overall), playing without senior forward Luis Castillo as he served the final game of his two-game suspension, only mustered two shots on goal in the 80-minute contest.
Still, the Vikings had two great chances to level the match at 1-1. First, Matt McGonigle had a great shot with 2:22 left in the opening half that West Chester Rustin goalie Billy Lockfeld made a terrific save on. Then just 30 seconds into the second half, East’s Joao Tavares had a breakaway opportunity but was unable to get off a shot before Rustin defender Stephen Callaghan closed in to knock the ball away.
“For some reason nobody really wanted to shoot the ball for us tonight,” said West Chester East coach Tom Creighton. “We were waiting for the perfect opportunities, but you can’t score if you don’t shoot.
“Rustin has a lot of talent. They have tough kids who just work, work, work. You can see it in their eyes how bad they want to win. They just got the better of us. We have four or five games left and if we win out, hopefully we should make the playoffs. That’s our goal.”
One of Rustin’s goals entering this season was to win the battle of West Chester. They are halfway there after Tuesday night’s victory. They’ll face West Henderson next week.
“That’s one of the things that’s important to the kids,” said Tordone. “That’s the first thing we want to accomplish. We’re also trying to win a league title, but we realize we have to keep taking them one game at a time.”
W.C. Rustin 3, W.C. East 0
W.C. Rustin 1 2 -- 3
W.C. East 0 0 -- 0
W.C. Rustin goals: MacMain 2, Rohleder.
Goalie saves: Lockfeld (WCR) 2; Forsythe (WCE) 11.