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Reading Women Win Season Opener

By Art Auchenbach, 05/20/24, 10:45PM EDT


Reading United Women Defeat Hershey FC 3-1 in Season Opener

We’re all told there is no ‘I’ in team, but there is an A, and for Reading United women’s team on Monday night that A stood for Ashley Lavrich.  The Twin Valley HS senior and Monmouth University commit made a statement of intent in her first appearance in a Reading United WPSL game.  Lavrich came off the bench (24 hours after she had also played a full game with her FC Revolution youth club team) to tally a goal and an assist as the Reading United women’s team started their 2024 campaign in style with a convincing 3-1 win.

The first half was what you would expect by two teams playing their first game of the season.  While Reading held most of the possession, Hershey defended well and limited any chances of consequence for a Reading side that featured an exciting blend of returning talent and a few new faces.   One of the new faces in Lavrich, was able to pounce on a scramble in the box after Hershey’s GK saved an initial shot and slot it home for a 1-0 lead.  Reading finished the first half outshooting their hosts 6-1 but only had the lone goal to show for it.

The second half was a different game.  Reading started to really knock the ball around the field with a constant switch of play starting to fray the Hershey midfield and really stretch the Hershey defenders.  In the 48th minute a precise slotted through ball from Lavrich connected with Haley Gschrey who went on a blistering run that left Hershey defenders tackling her shadow and slotted calmly past the stranded Hershey keeper for a 2-0 lead.  It appeared that Reading was well on their way for an easy opening win but Hershey had other ideas.  An unfortunate bounce outside the 18 gifted a free strike to Hershey  who slammed the ball off the crossbar and the resulting bounce fell to Hershey’s Jocelyn Myer in the 54th minute who had a terrific strike past Reading’s GK Autumn Monty.

Reading continued to dominate the game and in the 68th minute a Mikayla Moyer corner kick found the head of Kayla Pennington who laid off a nice flicked header that found a crashing Molly Kuhn who volleyed home a goal for a 3-1 lead.  

The game ended with Reading outshooting Hershey 15-4 and holding a 15-2 advantage in corner kicks.  Newcomer Ashley Lavrich was voted the Woman of the Match for her performance (one goal, one assist).

Coach Tom Gosselin summarized after the game, “Very pleased with our first performance of the year.  Every player had a positive moment tonight that we can build off of.  Looking forward to watching this team grow.”

The Reading United women’s team make their home debut this Friday, May 24th against LVU Rush, a new addition to the Commonwealth Division of the Mid Atlantic Conference.  Kickoff is at 7PM.

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