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Chaos closes with ugly 3-0 loss

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Friday night at Schoenbaum Stadium was supposed to be the highlight of the West Virginia Chaos season, but by the end of a rain-delayed one-sided affair it was hard to imagine a worse way for it to end.

The Chaos closed the regular season with a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Dynamo in a fashion that could only be described as ugly on all fronts.

With the loss, West Virginia (5-7-2) will need a lot of help to make the Premier Development League playoffs.

The team had a soccer camp for kids earlier in the day and the team and owner Dan Rollins were expecting a huge turnout. About 150 Chaos youth club team players and 45 camp attendees were expected to be on hand.

Mother Nature had other ideas, however, as a severe thunderstorm pushed the start time back from 7:30 p.m. to 9:10, and by the time the game got underway a sparse crowd at best remained.

But maybe it was for the best, because Schoenbaum Stadium wasn't a kid-friendly place on Friday night.

Two Chaos players received red cards and were ejected from the game, as well as a person on the Chaos bench. West Virginia also received three yellow cards and was called for 13 fouls.

Players shouted profanities at each other, the Dynamo and, more often than not, the officials, and player/coach Predrag Ivanovic even went after a referee after the game before being restrained by teammates.

The first red card was handed to West Virginia's James Pucci early in the second half. Pucci was called for a foul and unleashed a verbal tirade directed at an official that earned him an early exit, but not before leaving the Dynamo bench with some choice words to chew on first.

Pucci went into Friday as the league's leader in points (22) and goals (10), and his exit left the Chaos down a man and without its biggest scoring option.

Already leading 1-0, Carolina (6-5-1) took full advantage of the advantage, piling on two more goals over the next 15 minutes to account for the scoring.

The teams were tied 0-0 at halftime.

Hakan Ilhan started the scoring for the Dynamo in the 52nd minute off a free kick after he was fouled in the box by Ivanovic, resulting in a yellow card.

Brandt Bronico scored off an assist from Holden Fender in the 62nd minute to push the lead to 2-0 and Fender scored off an assist from Alex Martinez in the 71st minute to put the game on ice.

But aside from a tough loss, the night was embarrassing on other fronts as well, leaving more composed players - including midfielder Adam Arthur and backup goalie Tyler Atwell - to apologize to Carolina's coaching staff and players.

The Chaos entered Friday second in the South Atlantic Division behind Carolina, with the top two teams advancing to the playoffs.

However, third-place South Carolina and fourth-place Virginia Beach each have games to go to try and make up the point differential.

West Virginia ended its season with 17 points while South Carolina sat at 16 and Virginia Beach at 14 entering the weekend.

Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.

 


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