Spartans Set to Host Messiah in National Showdown

YORK, PA-The York College men’s soccer team hosts the biggest home game in the history of the program as the green and white welcomes #4 Messiah College to Graham Field on Tuesday afternoon.  The match will be the first time two top ten nationally ranked squads have meet at York College during the regular season.

The Falcons enter the match as the three-time defending National Champions. Overall, Messiah has won five national titles as all five championships have come since 2000. Messiah is currently riding an 11-game win streak after dropping their opening match of the season at Greensboro. The Spartans are 12-1, winners of three straight after their September 29 loss to Salisbury.

The Spartans, who are ranked sixth in the d3kicks.com poll, and the Falcons are no strangers. Last season, the two teams forged a 1-1 tie as Messiah scored early and York’s Justin Suchoski (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) tied the game in the 51st minute. Both teams had chances to claim victory before settling for the tie. The Spartans would go on to advance to the elite eight where they fell in penalty kicks to Wheaton. Messiah would go on to capture the national championship in Orlando.

The Spartans are led by sophomore Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) as the forward has 29 points on 10 goals and nine assists. Senior Andrew Wheeler (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco), the Spartans second leading scorer with 28 points on 10 goals and eight assists, will be forced to miss the game after accumulating his fifth yellow card of the year during Saturday’s dramatic 2-1 overtime win over St. Mary’s. Senior Jason Mancuso (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) has played well with 21 points on eight goals and five assists. Junior captain Mike Whalen (Philadelphia, Pa./LaSalle) is York’s fourth player that has reached double figures with his five goals for 10 points.

Junior goalkeeper Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) is 12-1 for the campaign as he owns a goals against average of 0.57 and a save percentage of .739. As a team, the Spartans have seven shutouts in 13 games. York has outscored its opponents 55-7 while they have outshot their foes 275-69.

Messiah is led by Patrick Lenehan as he has 17 points on six goals and five assists. Brett Faro is second in scoring with 16 points on six goals and four assists while Kai Kasiguran has chipped in with five goals and four assists for 14 points. Mike Rinker (13 points) and Geoff Pezon (11 points) are the other two Falcons that have reached double figures for the year. The Falcons have outscored their opponents 42-5 in 12 games this year.

Jared Clugston has played a majority of minutes in goal as he has a 0.47 goals against average and a .810 save percentage in 766:35 of work. Clugston has recorded four full shutouts for the year. Nick Blossey has played in six matches, starting three, as he owns a 0.27 goals against average and a .929 save percentage in 334:15 of action.