Recap by Christian Taylor
It was heartbreak Tuesday night on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. In their second season as a club, FC Baltimore Christos saw an early exit out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, losing 5-4 in Penalties.
For this year’s 106th installment of the Tournament, FCBC drew West Chester United out of the Keystone Conference.
Coincidentally, it was Baltimore who needed a West Chester loss last year, to FC Motown in the Keystone Conference Final, to allow them to advance to Regionals.
West Chester came out firing immediately Tuesday Night. One minute into the match saw a beautiful cross delivered to Troy Amspacher for a quick header to make it 1-0 early.
WCU continued to play on the front foot for a good bit in the first 45. Nearly everyone on this West Chester side had played together before, and it certainly showed.
Come the second half, it was clear Larry Sancomb made some halftime adjustments. The Roons entered with a little more firepower compared to the opening period.
That promising restart began with Nicholas Brown shooting well wide of the target just over a minute into the half. The perky side, ten minutes later, got their equalizer.
Jake Dengler, who settled down his team’s defense after allowing the opener, delivered a one-time chance from outside the box. The ensuing ricochet off a West Chester defender bounced into the lower left corner. 1-1 was the score.
After some off goal chances for both sides, regulation ended with the teams tied at one goal apiece.
Extra Time did not see too much change in play. West Chester’s Michael Gonzalez fired a promising missile outside the 18’, but Beyers had it read.
Gonzalez finished with 3 shots, all in similar fashion.
The best ET chance for either side came in the 120th minute. Just like the first goal by Troy Amspacher, Roons’ Malcolm Harris was lurking inside the penalty box. The same type of cross came into him. Harris attempted to chest the ball down. In doing so, Gardan had enough time to swallow it up.
To Penalties it went.
FCBC had a couple of opportunities to end it in PK’s, or at least get a great advantage. Alex Kades had West Chester’s third penalty saved by Bayers. The following PK by Nicholas Brown missed wide left.
The Roons had one official chance to end it in the 6th Penalty Round but Nick Richardson had it saved. Samuel Phelps scored first in the 7th round, followed by Tre Pulliam shooting over the crossbar to end it.
West Chester United advance 5-4 on PK’s to play Birmingham Legion out of the USL Championship.
FC Baltimore Christos now have MAC play to look forward to, as they welcome Virginia Beach City FC to CCBC Essex this Saturday, May 11. Kickoff is at 7 PM.
Man of the Match- Troy Amspacher- It seemed, whenever West Chester United had an opportunity to score, Amspacher was involved. He finished the night with six shots, while Baltimore, as a team, had seven altogether. It was also his opening goal that set the tone early on, and eventually led to his team’s victory.