Stunner #2; Hopkins Ousts Spartans on PKs

YORK, PA - The York College men's soccer team was dealt a crushing blow against Johns Hopkins Sunday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After a 0-0 tie through regulation and overtime, the Blue Jays end the Spartans' 2008 campaign courtesy of a 4-3 shootout victory. York concludes the season with an unbeaten mark of 18-0-2 while Hopkins moves on to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a record of 13-5-4.
     For the second time in as many games, the green and white came out on the short end of a shootout result. The Spartans opened the penalties by converting their first three shots as junior Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh), junior Aaron Good (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area), and senior Evan Scheffey (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) each made good on their attempts.
     Junior goalkeeper Ryan Hock (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) came up big for the green and white on the Blue Jays first shooter, stoning Max Venker and giving the Spartans an early advantage. Hopkins went on to score their next two attempts, leaving the margin at 3-2 in favor of the York side with two remaining attempts for each team.
     The tides turned however on each team’s fourth and fifth shooters, as the Spartans failed to convert either penalty. After York missed just outside the right post on their fourth attempt, Hopkins goalkeeper Matt Mierley recorded his first save of the shootout on the fifth Spartan shooter.
     Blue Jay captain Matty Carlson, Hopkins’ fourth taker, slotted home his attempt before Ethan Mulligan sent his squad into the Sweet 16 by netting the fifth and final shot.
     Throughout the 110 minutes of play, each side put the other under significant pressure. A mere 32 seconds into the contest, a Nick Guana header forced Spartan netminder Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) to make a save setting the tone for the match.
     A scoreless first half resulted in seven shots for the green and white to three for the Blue Jays. York also led in corners 2-0.
     The Spartans looked to take the lead in the 58th-minute of play as Ports and freshman Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) put together a nice combination inside the Blue Jay penalty area. With his back to the goal, Ports slipped a short pass to Nuspahic who struck a left-footed ripper. Unfortunately for the home squad, that ripper sailed well over the crossbar for a Hopkins goal kick.
     With neither side able to convert on scoring chances during regulation, the match spilled into overtime.
     Less than three minutes into the first extra period, Marks made a fantastic save on Hopkins’ Scott Bukoski. A bounding through ball was played to Bukoski at the top of the Spartan box. An on-rushing Marks, who seemed to be coming off his line to collect the through ball, made himself as physically large as he possibly could to simply get in front of Bukoski as he turned to shoot. The Blue Jay opportunity went by the wayside as the shot ricocheted off Marks and was cleared by the Spartan defense.
     The Spartans’ final best chance also came in the first overtime on a Ports set piece. Setting the ball 35 yards from goal, the junior All-American bent his attempt from right to left in search of the far post. The attempt sailed harmlessly wide and the score remained deadlocked at zero.
     For the match, the Spartans held an 18-8 margin in shots including seven to three on goal. York also led in the corner kicks category 5-3.
     Marks records the tie for the Spartans, making three saves in his 110 minutes of play. The larger Hock was inserted for the penalties, making one stop in the shootout. Mierley played well for the Hopkins side making seven saves plus one in the shootout.
     The Spartans conclude their season as one of the best squads in all of Division III. The green and white only allowed three goals all season, the best mark in NCAA Division III, with each of the three coming against teams who made this season’s NCAA tournament.
     York now bids adieu to their six seniors: Marks, Scheffey, Kyle Brooten (Gladstone, N.J./Bernards), Kurt Lane (Cochranville, Pa./Octorara), Chris Ports (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll School), and Mark Turkewitz (York, Pa./Dallastown). This group has been a part of the four best seasons in York College men’s soccer history making the NCAA tournament in each of the past four seasons, an unprecedented achievement for the program. Their four year record of 78-5-9, including a winning percentage of .896, is the best mark of any four-year stint in the program’s 40-year history.


Evan Scheffey photo courtesy of Steve Doemland