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(Central New Jersey) Saturday, July 6th, 2024 — Real Central NJ (RCNJ) defeated Philadelphia Lone Star FC (PHI) at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field, getting revenge for their rough loss early on in the season. The RCNJ attack was quality all night, as they overwhelmed the Lone Star backline the entire match. 

“This was a redemption game,” said Head Coach Brian Woods. “The first game of the season was an absolute disaster for us in a lot of respects. We had opportunities in that game that we didn’t finish that we did tonight, and we allowed them to do things that we did not allow them to do tonight. I was happy the boys came and made it full circle.” 


  • PHI - Tonny Temple 43rd minute: Temple beat RCNJ keeper Andrew Kempe one-on-one after a long ball played from the back. RCNJ 0, PHI 1

  • RCNJ﹘Curt Calov 65th minute: After an RCNJ attacker was tripped in the box, Calov buried a penalty down the middle of the net, as the the Philadelphia keeper dove left, for the equalizer. RCNJ 1, PHI 1

  • RCNJ - Matthew Reed 68th minute: Following a shot off the crossbar by Josh Oladele, Reed found the ball at his feet and drove a shot into the back of the net for the RCNJ go ahead goal and eventual game winner.. RCNJ 2, PHI 1

  • RCNJ - Josh Oladele (Vincenzo Pugliese) 78th minute: After a nice run of play down the left side, left back Jose “Nacho” Munoz chipped a ball over three defenders to Pugliese, who sent a leading pass on the ground across the box to Oladele, who took a touch and rolled the ball past the keeper for the goal to put the game out of reach. RCNJ 3, PHI 1

The player of the match was defender Cole Sotack. Sotack solidified the backline throughout the game, containing the formidable Philadelphia attack from early on. 

The game's first shot came within the fourth minute off of a linkup inside the box. RCNJ worked the ball inside, playing it back and forth until Arturo McConnochie could find a shot. However, it bounced low and was saved by the Lone Star keeper.

In the ninth, Philadelphia found their first shot of the match in an attempt from the outskirts of the penalty box lifted high and batted away from RCNJ keeper Andrew Kempe. 

Real Central NJ’s Conlan Paventi took an attempt on goal from off a counterattack, which was started by a long cross from the backline by Charlie Hare. Paventi’s shot was saved low in the eleventh minute.

The game went quite silent for some time, and the next look did not arise until the twenty-third minute. Philly had a chance within the box after both teams knocked the ball around, leaving Kempe out of place to make a play on the ball. Lone Star took a shot that, without the goal-line heroics of Charlie Hare, would have been a goal. Hare headed the ball away from the net, preventing a goal. 

RCNJ had some solid attacking pressure for the rest of the half, putting together an impressive five shots without an answer from the thirty-first to the forty-second minute. Curt Calov and Conlan Paventi had two shots on target apiece, with Arturo McConnochie also putting one on goal within the ten-minute span. However, they could not find the back of the net on any of them. 

In the forty-third minute, Philadelphia Lone Star FC got on the board first as a ball was played high over the RNCJ backline for a one-on-one situation where the attacker put the ball past Kempe. RCNJ 0, PHI 1

The second half was all Real Central NJ. The RCNJ attack was just as potent as it had been in the first half, as Arturo McConnochie found the first chance on goal, which was a header attempt that wrung off the post after a long looping cross over the box. 

Within the next minute, Curt Calov had an attempt that went just wide of the far post. And again, in the fifty-third, Calov had another try off a chip attempt in a one-on-one situation; the shot was saved. 

After an RCNJ attacker was tripped up in the box in the sixty-fourth, Real Central NJ was awarded a penalty. Curt Calov stepped up to the mark. Calov took his run-up, faked his body left, and sent a shot down the middle past the keeper as he scored the equalizing goal in the sixty-fifth minute. RCNJ 1, PHI 1

Shortly after, in the sixty-eight minute, Matthew Reed put Real Central NJ up by a goal after Josh Oladele took a shot on target that deflected off the top left corner of the crossbar. The rebound bounced in front of Reed’s feet, and he put his foot through the ball and blasted it into the back of the net. RCNJ 2, PHI 1

RCNJ’s attack was persistent, scoring another goal in the seventy-eighth minute to put them up by two. The Josh Oladele goal came from a ball played across the box from Vincenzo Pugliese. Oladele settled the ball, took a touch toward the net, and rolled the ball over the keeper's hand for their third goal of the match. RCNJ 3, PHI 1

To end the second half, Philadelphia made a few attempts, but none threatened RCNJ’s lead. 

“Right now we're going to chase history,” Woods commented post-game. “It’s going to be the most points [per game] we’ve ever had if we win on Wednesday. So that’s what we want to do.” 

The Real Central NJ regular season comes to an end on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, with an exciting home doubleheader. The women’s WPSL side will first face off against Fever SC at 5 PM, then the men's USL2 side will play Reading United at 7:30 to cap off the regular season. Both matches will take place at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field.

Photo credit: Lukas Courtney



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