YORK, PA – In the first round of the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference tournament, the third-seeded York College field hockey team picked up a 2-1 victory over visiting Stevenson University, the tournament’s sixth-seed, on a sunsplashed Kinsley Field Sunday afternoon. The postseason triumph improves the Spartans’ record to 14-7 while the Mustangs close out the campaign with a 6-12 mark. The Spartan win pushes York into the CAC semifinals where they will face second-seeded Mary Washington this Wednesday.
The Spartans came out of the gate pushing the pace as they registered seven shots within the first 16:40. Junior standout Allison Roush (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) nearly provided York with the first score of the game in two occasions within that first 16:40. But alas, Stevenson goalkeeper Kara Zimmerman proved up to the task on both chances, turning away Roush on her two early opportunities.
Sophomore Brittany Simmons (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) came up huge for the Spartans on the offensive end, tallying the game’s opening goal as well as posting the assist on the game-winner.
In the 34th minute, the Spartans unleashed a barrage of attempts on the Mustang goal. Each of those tries was turned away however, until Simmons poked home her second score of 2009. The sophomore’s opening salvo gave the Spartans a 1-0 advantage heading into the break.
Simmons would provide the helper on York’s second of the match, as Katie Dawkins (Easton, Md./Easton) registered her 17th of the year in the 39th minute. After one of the Green and White’s 16 penalty corners, Simmons found herself just outside the goal line where she redirected a pass to Dawkins who was just wide of the far post. As she had done 16 times before, the junior found the back of the cage, slipping her attempt inside the post.
That score would prove all the Spartans would need on the day, but with their season on the line, Stevenson would not go quietly.
The Mustangs slashed York’s lead in half in the 45th minute as Brittany Martin scored on a penalty stroke.
York’s defense, a unit that was tight all day, put the clamps on even tighter after Martin’s score, as the Green and White did not allow their guests a shot or a penalty corner the rest of the way.
For the game, the Spartans held 20-2 bulge in shots to go along with a huge 16-2 margin in penalty corners.
Senior goalkeeper Claire Rekitzke (Seaford, Del./Seaford Senior), who has recently been named to the NFHCA Division III Senior All-Star Game, made one save for the Spartans throughout her 70 minutes. Zimmerman played exceptionally well in the cage for the Mustangs making eleven stops for the visitors.
The Spartans capture their first CAC tournament victory since 2004 when the Green and White bested St. Mary’s in a 3-2 overtime affair in that year’s CAC quarterfinals.
York now advances to the semifinal round where they will visit Mary Washington on Wednesday, November 4. Game time from Fredericksburg, Va. is set to be decided on Monday. Please visit www.ycpspartans.com for up-to-date information.
Brittany Simmons photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)