GRANTHAM, PA - The York College men's soccer team captured a 2-1 victory at #2 Messiah College in the highly anticipated showdown of nationally ranked squads in Grantham, PA. The win keeps the #3 Spartans perfect at 13-0 while the Falcons fall to 9-1-1.
Messiah treated their home fans to an early 1-0 lead, as the Falcons got on the board in the game’s 22nd minute. Josh Sanders was able to get in behind the Spartan defense and found himself in a 1v1 with Spartan goalkeeper Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury). Sanders calmly touched the ball around Marks and slotted home the game’s first score.
The Spartans notched the equalizer just over ten minutes later on Jon Ports’ (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) team-leading ninth goal of the season. Sophomore Lucas Emil (Parsippany, N.J./Morris Catholic) won the ball at midfield before touching it around a Messiah defender and into open space. Emil then dribbled to the top of the Falcon penalty box where he slipped a pass to the diagonally running Ports. The junior All-American then swiftly touched his shot pass the Falcon’s on-rushing goalkeeper to tie the score at one.
Messiah would look to strike first in the second frame but the Spartans were able to withstand the pressure. The Falcons would record four shots over a period of 41 seconds between the 60:27 and 61:08 marks. York’s defense needed to clear two off the line and Marks was forced to make a save during Messiah’s flurry of attempts.
York countered the Falcon surge in the 63rd minute when senior Chris Ports (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) notched his sixth of the year. A Messiah clearance was knocked back to the feet of freshman Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) on the right side of the Falcon penalty box. Nuspahic scooted a pass across the face of the goal to Chris Ports who one-timed the eventual game-winner into the back of the Messiah net.
The Spartans would avoid danger for a final time in the game’s final minute of play. With 51 seconds remaining in regulation, Messiah’s J.D. Binger snapped a header that was cleared off the line by the Spartan defense.
For the match, the Falcons owned a 12-8 lead in shots including an 8-1 advantage in the second frame. York did secure an 8-3 margin in corners.
Marks takes the win in the Spartan net recording a pair of stops, while the York defense came up big on the evening with three team saves. Jared Clugston stopped a trio of Spartan attempts in the loss.
The green and white will next travel to Rutgers-Camden on Saturday, October 11. The non-conference tilt is slated for 3:00 pm.
Jon Ports photo courtesy of Eric Linsley