NEWPORT NEWS, VA- The York College men’s soccer team remained unbeaten as the Spartans used a pair of late goals to overcome #21 Kean University, 3-1, in the first round of the Joe Pombriant/CNU Classic at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA on Friday evening. The top-ranked Spartans improve to 3-0 as their nation’s best unbeaten streak is now at 43 games. The Cougars fall to 2-2 overall as they have now lost two straight.
Kean came out an inspired group as they limited the Spartans to just four first-half shots as the match was scoreless in the opening 45 minutes. The Cougars managed six shots in the stanza while they also held a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.
The Spartans got on the board in the opening minute of the second half as Andrew Wheeler (Baltimore, Md. /Patapsco) received a pass from Matthew Detzel (York, Pa./Central York) and tallied his fourth goal of the year. The goal came just 51 seconds into the second half.
Cougar goalie Kyle Crego was then red-carded as he took down Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md. /McDonogh) as Ports had a breakaway. The Cougars were then forced to play two men down as Damien Serafin was assessed a red-card for a hard foul with just under 35 minutes remaining in the game.
The Spartans were unable to capitalize on the extra man opportunities right away. In fact, the Cougars tied the game on a penalty kick as Spartan goalie Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa. /Pennsbury) was whistled for a questionable foul in the box. Anthony Tuesta converted the penalty kick with 15:36 remaining in regulation.
That penalty kick seemed to wake up the Spartans as they carried the play the remainder of the game. The green and white fired off four shots on goal in the next eight minutes before Ports put home the game winning goal off a pass from Justin Suchoski (Langhorne, Pa. /Neshaminy) with 1:15 left in regulation. Wheeler then capped the scoring 21 seconds later with his second goal of the game off a pass from senior Jason Mancuso (Toms River, N.J. /Toms River North). The goal was Wheeler’s team-leading fifth of the year.
The Spartans finished the game holding a 16-10 edge in shots including a 9-4 bulge in shots on goal. York also held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks including a 7-0 margin in the second half.
Marks earned his third win in goal as he recorded three saves in his 90 minutes of work. Crego played 54:50 and made three saves. Jeff Soares relieved Crego and took the loss as he allowed two goals while he also had three saves.
The Spartans play the College of New Jersey in the second round of the tournament on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm.