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Reading United Women's WPSL Team!

A new Reading United women's team took to the field in 2023, playing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The core of Reading’s new women's team featured 25 of the 40 players that played either high school or collegiate soccer in Berks County. Ten Berks high schools and two colleges, Kutztown University and Penn State Berks, were represented.

The debut season for the United Women was a smashing success. The women compiled a 7-1-2 record under head coach Tom Gosselin that saw them storm into the WPSL playoffs, finishing the regular season on a seven match unbeaten run. That streak saw the women tally 14 goals while conceding just three goals.

Wyomissing Area alum Rebecca Kotula captained Gosselin’s side and showed why she is a second team All-American at East Stroudsburg University. Kotula found the back of the net eight times for United in 2023, including the club’s first ever WPSL goal in the opening contest against local rivals, PA Classics. 

Expansion sides rarely have the success the Reading United women had in 2023. United rode their seven victories to a berth in the WPSL playoffs in their debut season. In the opening round of the playoffs, Abby Doyle’s thrilling goal in an overtime victory over Fever SC helped Reading claim the Mid-Atlantic Conference crown and a place in the WPSL Eastern Regional Championship playoffs. Though they fought valiantly, the United women fell to the eventual Eastern Region champions, the Rhode Island Rogues.

Looking towards the 2024 season, Gosselin said, “Next year I am optimistic we can grow even more with the inaugural season under our collective belts. We all learned so much and the team handled all speed bumps with the mentality of winners.  Everything achieved was a collective effort of ownership, staff, players and fans.”

Recent WPSL First Team News

Week of May 27 Preview

By Art Auchenbach 05/26/2024, 3:00pm EDT

Weekend Recap & Week of May 27 Preview

May 24 Women's Game Recap

Memorial Day weekend featured both Reading teams in action.  The women’s team made their 2024 home debut Friday night May 24 as they hosted WPSL newcomers LVU Rush.  Haley Gschrey opened her home goalscoring account in the 10th minute with a well placed header from a Natalee Vicari cross to give Reading their first lead of the game.  However LVU Rush showed plenty of poise and the first half was very evenly played, with the visitors outshooting Reading 9-5 in the first half.  LVU’s persistence paid off in the 42nd minute when a Camryn Williams followup from an Autum Monty parried save evened up the score headed into halftime. 

The second half was a different story as Reading responded immediately after the break with a daring diving header goal by captain Becca Kotula off of an Ashley Lavrich assist put Reading up 2-1 and they didn’t look back from there.  In the 59th minute Kotula became the provider for a goal by Asley Lavrich for a 3-1 lead.  However Lavrich wasn’t finished.  Only 7 minutes later she completed a spectacular individual effort for her 2nd goal and a 4-1 Reading lead.  As LVU was pushing for a way back into  the game, in the 90th minute Natalee Vicari finished a beautiful Mikayla Moyer cross for a 5-1 Reading win.  With four goals in the 2nd half Reading showed they likely should be considered a top contender in the WPSL Mid Atlantic Division’s Commonwealth conference.  For her two goals and assist on the night Ashley Lavrich was named the Woman of the Match.  The high school senior who hasn’t graduated high school yet,  finished her first week in Reading United colors with a dominating WPSL performance consisting of three goals and two assists in the Reading victories over Hershey and LVU Rush.  With the win, Reading remain in first place in the Commonwealth Division of the Mid Atlantic Conference.

May 25 Men's Game Recap
With a week to prepare for their second game, the Reading United men made the short trip to West Chester to face local rivals West Chester United in their 2nd USL League Two match of the season.  As expected Reading looked to possess the ball and avoid the trademark stingy defense and counterattack that West Chester is known for.  Most of the first half was a back and forth affair with both sides struggling to maintain possession or get a decent shot on target.  In the 23rd minute West Chester’s defense launched a quick long ball forward to Josh Luccini who split the Reading defense and placed his shot past a helpless Jason Smith for a 1-0 lead.  Reading pressed West Chester outshooting them in the first half and maintaining possession but created no clear opportunities on goal and went into halftime trailing 1-0.

A rash challenge in the 57th minute by West Chester on Sam Hershey afforded the visitors a well earned penalty kick that was cooly deposited by Hershey to level the score 1-1.  However only 10 minutes later some slack Reading defending afforded West Chester’s Ndeh Tima a clear opening to easily score and give the hosts a 2-1 lead.  

The last 20 minutes of regulation and six minutes of stoppage time had Reading providing consistent pressure on the West Chester back line but all chances went begging as Reading was unable to secure any road points against a team they played three times last year, drawing two, and winning one.  With the loss Reading sits in a three way tie for third place in the division.

Week of May 27 Preview
The week of May 27-June 2 features three Reading United games – all at home.  The men welcome their feisty friends from the city of brotherly love, when Philadelphia LoneStar come to Reading on Wednesday May 29 at 7PM for the men’s home opener.  Hopefully the only thing that is hot is the weather as last year’s July 1 Reading win unfortunately featured several LoneStar players and coaches being ejected due to violent conduct.  Lonestar have already played four games on the USL2 season and have a record of 1 win, 2 losses, 1 draw.  The theme is Retro Night where Reading fans are encouraged to wear their old Reading United (Reading Rage if you have them) gear.

Friday night May 31 features the Reading United women hosting Hex FC Tempest, a new team that was formed by the merger of the former Lehigh Valley Tempest with HEX FC youth soccer club.  It will be the first game of the year for Hex FC Tempest.  The Reading United women will be looking to continue their hot start to the season at home and hopefully taking advantage of the quick turnaround for Hex FC Tempest as they host LVU Rush the night before.

Saturday night June 1 the men return to action to face off against Real Central NJ.  Real Central NJ has had a mixed start to the season losing 4-0 to Philadelphia Lone Star in their season opener and squeaking by Lehigh Valley United Rush in their home opener.   The 2023 campaign had the teams face each other three times (due to unbalanced league schedule) with Reading winning two and tying one.

Reading Women Win Season Opener

By Art Auchenbach 05/20/2024, 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.

Reading United AC Joins USL Academy League

By Christian Bauer 05/19/2024, 11:15pm EDT

READING, PA (20 May 2024) –  Reading United A.C. is excited to announce its acceptance into the USL Academy League for the Spring of 2024.  Reading United will roster a U20 men’s team at the direction of our USL2 assistant coaches. The team will practice with the current men’s reserve team, and participate in 3-5 friendly matches from now through July against other USL Academy teams in the Mid-Atlantic Division.

“With the successful addition of the women’s WPSL team in 2023, I am excited that we can expand the club to provide this opportunity for younger, male players in Berks County. The goal of the Academy team is to provide an opportunity for older, Berks County youth players, to be coached at and play at a higher  level under the Reading United badge,” said Christian Bauer, Club President and Co-owner.

Prior to Reading’s 2024 season, Reading United announced a partnership with the youth club Berks United FC.  With the addition of the Academy, with males aged U16-U19, Reading United has now established a vertically integrated youth to pre-professional pathway, built from the top-down.  

Reading Vice President Art Auchenbach added, “Our goal is to offer local, greater Reading area high school rising and existing seniors an opportunity to further develop their soccer skills as they age out of youth club soccer and prepare for college or beyond.  Governor Mifflin graduate, and current United defender Amit Bhogal is a great example of this.  We hope that when these Academy players go off to college and return home for the summer, they will want to play for our Reserve or eventually the USL2 teams.”

Reading United is still actively pursuing talent to join the Academy team for 2024.  If you are interested, please contact Casey Moore at Casey@readingunitedac.com.

The club has begun its 2024 season, with the men’s USL2 team posting its first win against rival Lehigh Valley United this past Saturday, May 18. Reading United open the 2024 home schedule on Friday, May 24th when our WPSL women’s team take on take on LVU Rush.  Kickoff at Alvernia University Stadium is scheduled for 7:00pm. Single game and season tickets for the 2024 campaign can be purchased online at www.readingunitedac.com/tickets.

Reading Men Win Season Opener 2-0
2024 Season Preview