West Chester East and Great Valley draw in battle for district seeding

EAST WHITELAND – After 100 minutes of intense soccer, West Chester East head coach David Flamer was happy to leave Malvern with a point in hand.

As for Great Valley head coach Dave Moffitt, he saw a opportunity slip away.

“We played with a lot of heart and energy, but we just had to finish,’ Moffitt said. “It’s a simple equation for us. We just needed to put a couuple opportunities away and we’re in a lot better shape.’

Jack Hajnik scored two goals as Great Valley and West Chester East battled to a 2-2 draw in a Ches-Mont game Tuesday afternoon.

Both teams salvaged a point in the cross-division matchup. East (6-2-2 league, 8-5-2 overall) has 20 points in the National and are 24th in the District 1 Class AAA power rankings. With West Chester Henderson’s 5-0 win over Sun Valley, the Vikings sit four points behind the Warriors for the National Division crown with three league games remaining.

Great Valley (7-3-1 league, 9-3-2 overall) is second in the American with 22 points and sit 16th in the district rankings.

As Moffitt stood and pondered the two points Great Valley let slip away, Flamer saw his team playing 199 minutes over the last two games take its toll on their performance.

The Vikings, outplayed for the majority of the second half, still found a way to salvage a point. East is unbeaten in its last six games.

“To come here to their house and get this type of result against a team higher than us in the (district) standings, I’m fine with it,’ Flamer said. “I always love a win, but today will take the tie. It’s better than a loss.’

East controlled the start of the game with some crisp passes in Great Valley territory and controlling possession.

Dan Tyler was able to capitalize off a free kick and headed a ball past Great Valley keeper Aidan Claffey in the seventh minute to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.

Hajnik responded with the equalizer in the 15th after finding a breakdown in the East defense over the top to tie it 1-1.

After a foul by the Patriots, Framer set Cole Baldyga up for a 30-yard free kick to give East the lead back.

He didn’t miss.

Baldyga hooked one from the right side to the near post past Claffey as the Vikings took a 2-1 lead in the 20th minute.

They endered halftime with that advantage before Moffitt made some crucial adjustments for the Patriots, which sought to cut into the Vikings’ stanglehold in the possession game.

“One of our strengths as to be able to possess the ball and knock it around,’ Moffitt said. “Once we settled and put a pass or two together, stuff opens. We had the opportunity to convert.’

The Patriots came out firing to open the second half as Hajnik beat the East defense over the top in the 43rd minute to convert his second goal of the afternoon as Great Valley tied the game 2-2.

Plenty of opportunites to win the game came for the Patriots over the last 57 minutes. They just couldn’t finish after finding more breakdowns in the East defense.

Hajnik beat that defense in the 78th minute, but his shot missed high just before the overtime session.

From there, the Patriots had two opportunities to seal the victory.

The first was a blast by Nick Paynter that Baley Federico blocked, which the ball deflected and hit the crossbar in the first overtime.

In the second overtime, Colin Deitch had a perfect corner kick to Austin Wilk, who just missed a wide open left side of the net to put the game away.

The Patriots finished 0-for-8 on corner kicks for the afternoon.

The result…one point for Great Valley in a game which it had East on the ropes.

“When you have multiple chances to put the game away, it’s not a good feeling (for the draw),’ Moffitt said. “We’re playing well, but we just have to finish to really play well.’

For East, earning four points against two of the top three teams in the American over the last two games is no easy task. Especially since both games went into double overtime.

The product on the field showed in the waning moments Tuesday.

“We did look tired,’ Flamer said. “We were down five guys today, but we’re all in. I have 20-25 guys that can get the job done.’


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