Spartans Edge Blue Jays 1-0

YORK, PAKemal Nuspahic’s (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) 44th-minute goal lifted the York College men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over visiting Johns Hopkins Wednesday evening at Graham Field. The Spartans, who have accumulated a sparkling 25-1-1 record at home since the opening of Graham Field in 2006, remain undefeated and move to 4-0 on the season while the Blue Jays fall to 4-2.

Throughout the first half of play, both sides were able to put the other under pressure and create several dangerous chances. In the match’s seventh minute, Hopkins’ Scott Bukoski, whose speed created several scoring opportunities throughout the match, slipped just far enough behind the Spartan defense to create a dangerous slight breakaway opportunity. With Spartan defender Scott Becker (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum) riding Bukoski’s hip, the sophomore forward was forced into an early shot which he fired toward the far right post. York’s senior goalkeeper Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) made a sprawling dive to his left to redirect the shot over the end line for what turned out to be a harmless corner kick.

As the first 45 came to a close, Nuspahic hit a shot that sailed wide. On the ensuing goal kick, junior midfielder Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) managed to get a foot on the flighted ball near the midfield line and force it long back toward the Blue Jay net. Nuspahic swiftly ran to collect the loose ball, beat several Hopkins defenders inside the 18-yard box and deftly struck his third goal of the season into the far left netting.

At half, the Spartans and Blue Jays were even at eight shots apiece while York held a 4-1 advantage in corners.

The second stanza would prove to be much like its predecessor, with both sides creating scoring opportunities throughout the frame. Hopkins looked to even the score line early in the second half as a bounding cross found its way from the right side of the field to York’s far left post, where an awaiting Blue Jay knock in what appeared to be the tying score. That goal would be nullified however, as Hopkins was whistled for off-sides.

After the Hopkins scare, York looked to increase their advantage to two when senior defender Kurt Lane (Cochranville, Pa./Octorara) took an outside rip in the 60th minute. A loose ball found its way to Lane, who was just outside the box on the right side. The senior hit a beautiful rope-of-a-strike toward the far left upper-90. Unfortunately for the home squad, the ball sailed over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

York would effectively run out the rest of the clock and secure the 1-0 victory.

In total, the Spartans edged the Blue Jays in shots 15-11 and also held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Marks grabs his fourth win of the season with a 90-minute clean sheet, as he made three saves. Blue Jay goalkeeper Matt Mierley made seven stops to keep his team in the match.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday, September 16. The green and white are set to host Lynchburg in a 2:30 pm match at Graham Field.

BOX SCORE