Bethlehem Steel FC saw its three-game preseason winning streak come to an end, falling to Villanova, 3-2, at the Higgins Soccer Complex.
Midfielder AJ Paterson collected his first goal of the preseason in the first half, heading home a cross from Chris Nanco to tie the score before halftime. In the final half of play, forward Aidan Apodaca struck late for his team-leading third preseason goal of the preseason.
“I thought Villanova were really energetic, connected well and played good soccer and we were the exact opposite for most of the game which will help shape decisions on trialists,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “We have to have days like this and I’d rather have them in preseason but it wasn’t our best by far. We play to Villanova because of the energy they bring and it’s a good preseason match to test the back end of our team and trialists.”
Playing in the club’s third match in eight days, Steel FC had six field players go the full 90 minutes including Philadelphia Union midfielder Marcus Epps. Recent Villanova goalkeeper Will Steiner came in for a match against his former teammates as a guest keeper, making five saves in the exhibition.
A photo gallery from the match can be seen here.
Preseason action continues for Steel FC against in-state league rival Riverhounds SC on Sunday, March 4. The match will be held at the Power Training Complex with kickoff set for 3 p.m.
All friendlies lead up to Steel FC’s home opener against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday, March 18. Kick off from Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Villanova 3
Higgins Soccer Complex
Shots: 12-8 (Villanova)
Shots On Goal: 8-6 (Villanova)
Saves: 5-4 (Bethlehem)
VU – 21’ Zach Zandi
BST – 36’ AJ Paterson (Chris Nanco)
VU – 54’ Yusuf Cueceoglu (PK)
VU – 67’ Vince Manson
BST – 90’ Aidan Apodaca (Mickey George)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XIWill Steiner; Mickey George, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Sam Wancowicz; AJ Paterson, Mike Catalano (Messam 45’); Chris Nanco (
Sebastein Perquy 59’), Gregory Messam Jr. (Audi Jepson 20’), Marcus Epps; Brandon Allen (Aidan Apodaca 45’).
VILLANOVA STARTING XI
Carson Williams (Carson Hunt 77’); Richie Schlentz, Nikkye DePoint, Luca Mellor, Shane Bradley; Conor Bradley, Zach Zandi, Yusuf Cueceoglu, Theo Quartey; Jack Gilliam, Vince Manzo.
Substitutes used: David Bettenhausen, Sean Teixeira, Max Zandi, Kian Zapata