The Reading United Women's team battled it out against the defending Mid Atlantic Division runners up, PA Classics, in a thrilling match that ended in a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, PA.
Both teams showed excellent performance throughout the game, but it was Reading United Women's team who took the lead in the first half when team captain & Woman of the Match Becca Kotula (Wyomissing HS, East Stroudsburg University) scored an impressive free kick goal in the 28’ after PA Classics GK Sofia Gonzalez (Ephrata PA, Penn State Berks) handled the ball outside of the penalty area. Kotula calmly placed her direct kick around the wall and into the net to spot the new Reading team a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, PA Classics responded off of a Reading defensive miscue with a goal from forward Liz Estrada (Wilson HS, LaSalle University), leveling the score. The teams entered halftime tied 1-1 but with Reading dominating possession and forcing PA Classics to defend for most of the half.
The second half started to open up with PA Classics quickly forcing a pair of corner kicks that tested the mettle of the Reading backline. Reading’s defense remained stout, led by the impressive play of centerbacks Morgan Weaver (Spring City PA, Boston University) and Mikayla Moyer (Barto PA, Seton Hill University). While relatively untested for most of the game, Reading GK Emme Wolfel (Douglassville PA, Kutztown University) reacted well to parry a strong Estrada shot off the crossbar to keep the scoreline even. The remainder of the match saw both teams pushing for a winner, with Reading creating several quality opportunities on goal in the final minutes and stoppage time, but neither side was able to convert their chances into goals. Despite the draw, the Reading United Women's team displayed an excellent performance and a strong start to their first exposure to the WPSL.
Speaking after the game, Reading United Women's team head coach, Tom Gosselin, expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance, saying, "Outstanding effort by this group for the first ever match as a WPSL team. Very happy to get a point on the road against a top club like PA Classics. This group has managed to come together very quickly to shape our inaugural program. We are all looking forward to an exciting season of top class soccer."
The Reading United Women's team will look to build on their positive performance in their next game when they face off against Hershey FC Friday night May 19 at 7PM for the team’s inaugural season home opener at Alvernia University