2013 US Open Cup qualifying: West Chester United defeat United German Hungarians to repeat as Eastern PA champs

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  • December 23, 2012

West Chester United celebrates a goal during the Eastern Pennsylvania Open Cup Final against the United German Hungarians. United won the game 3-1 to win their second straight title. Photo: Kari Haffelfinger

West Chester United is the Eastern Pennsylvania Open Cup champion for the second year in a row after beating United German Hungarians 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. UGH scored first, but West Chester equalized just before the half and used the extremely windy weather conditions to its advantage to pull away in the end.

“The guys played really, really well. The wind was a huge factor. In the second half…I think the elements actually helped us with the wind going our way a little bit,” West Chester manager Vincent D’Ambrosio said after the game.

The two-time Open Cup runners-up, UGH, had the wind advantage in the first half, and used it to control the early part of the game. The visitors capitalized in the 17th minute when Elsion Pajolarri was taken down just inside the box. Pajolarri sent the keeper the wrong way on the ensuing penalty to put the Hungarians up 1-0. Pajolarri then had to be subbed out after picking up an injury just three minutes later.

From that point on in the first half, neither side had a definitive advantage. However, just as the half was coming to a close, West Chester nabbed an equalizer. A long ball that was popped up high into the air came down perfectly for West Chester’s Dominic Popolizio, who then outran the defense and slotted the ball past the keeper.

West Chester United: 2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Open Cup champions. Photo: Kari Haffelfinger

“They’re back breakers when things like that happen,” UGH coach Mike Curley said. “At halftime I tried to give a pep talk because as we walked off the field, our heads were down. It’s tough to come back from a goal like that. That hurt.”

West Chester used that momentum, plus the wind advantage, to score early in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Popolizio ran into the penalty area and passed the ball across the 6-yard box to an onrushing Michael Lodge, who calmly hit it home. UGH had no answer for West Chester’s play in the second half, and ended up finding themselves down 3-1 in the 80th minute. At the top of the box, Lodge found David King, who ran deep inside the area. Bearing down on the keeper, he passed to substitute Scott Patrick for the game’s final goal.

With the victory, West Chester United advance to the USASA Region I Finals in the spring. Last year, United fell in the first round to Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks.

2013 Eastern Pennsylvania Final
West Chester United 3:1 United German Hungarians

Scoring Summary
UGH: Elsion Pajolarri (PK) – 17th minute
WCU: Dominic Popolizio (unassisted) – 45th minute
WCU: Michael Lodge (Dominic Popolizio) – 52nd minute
WCU: Scott Patrick (David King) – 80th minute




West Chester United:
Travis Chulick; Christopher Amato, Ryan Smallwood, David King, Neema Mohajery; William Brown (William Pinto-81), Neil Gallagher (Omarie Salmon-81), Andrew Kummerer, Justin McCall (Scott Patrick-75); Dominic Popolizio, Michael Lodge

United German Hungarians:
Jim Clark; Mike Pio, Zach Fayer (Ike Onyeador-81), Kevin Sherry, Brian Blesi; Jason Karasow, Ken Tomczuk, Ryan Tadley, Joe Brocker; Uche Onyeador, Elsion Pajolarri (John Gravelle-26)

2013 Eastern PA Open Cup Tournament
(home team listed second)

First Round (Nov. 11) [+] Recap
Cavalla FC 1:0 Ukrainian Nationals (Oct. 28)
Quakertown 3:2 Colonial Ultras
Junior Lone Star 6:0 Mayfair Celtic
Nether United 1:1 Phoenix SC (Nether United advances, 7-6 in PKs)
Predators 1:0 Vereinigung Erzgebirge

Quarterfinals (Dec. 2) [+] Recap
Quakertown 0:4 West Chester United
Cavalla FC 4:0 Salone
Junior Lone Star 0:3 United German Hungarians
Predators 0:0 Nether United (Predators advance 5-4 in PKs)


Cavalla FC 1:2 West Chester United (Dec. 9) [+] Recap
Predators 0:1 UGH (Dec. 16) [+] Recap

Final (Dec. 22)

United German Hungarians 1:3 West Chester United

Past Eastern PA Open Cup champions:
1997: United German Hungarians
1998: United German Hungarians
1999: United German Hungarians*
2000: United German Hungarians
2001: DiPasquale’s
2002: Vereinigung Erzgebirge*
2003: Ukrainian Nationals
2004: Lighthouse SC
2005: Ukrainian Nationals
2006: Ukrainian Nationals
2007: Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Runner-up Ukrainian Nationals also qualified for Region I Finals)
2008: United German Hungarians
2009: Vereinigung Erzgebirge
2010: Phoenix SC
2011: Phoenix SC*
2012: West Chester United Predators
2013: West Chester United Predators

* Qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

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