NEWPORT NEWS, VA-The York
College men’s soccer squad opened their 2008 campaign with a
2-0 victory over Virginia Wesleyan in the opening round of the
VCAM/CNU Classic hosted by Christopher Newport University. The
Spartans, who are ranked fifth in the nation, improve to 1-0
overall while the 14th ranked Marlins fall to 0-1.
The first half saw a majority of play take place in the middle of the field as there was just four shots in the stanza. The Spartans had three of those four shots but did not put any of the three on target. The green and white held a slight 3-2 edge in corner kicks for the half as the game was scoreless through the first 45 minutes.
The action picked up after the half as the two squads started the push the tempo. York began the half with a pair of Travis Williams (Springfield, Pa./Springfield Township) shots however both attempts floating wide. The Marlins’ lone shot on goal in the second half came in the 71st minute as Brandon Massie had a corner kick for VWC. Shortly after the corner, Clay Price fired a shot on goal that was saved by Spartan netminder Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury), preserving the scoreless deadlock.
The Spartans began to apply significant pressure to the Marlin defense as the clock ran under 15 minutes left in regulation. The Spartans got a wide shot from Chris Ports (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll School) and that was followed by a pair of corner kicks. That pressure finally paid off when freshman Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) flicked home a pass from the reigning CAC Player-of-the-Year, Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh), to give the Spartans the 1-0 lead with just 4:41 remaining in regulation.
Chris Ports tacked on a key insurance goal with 36 seconds remaining in the game as he scored off a pass from sophomore Lucas Emil (Parsippany, N.J./Morris Catholic). That goal was the first for Ports since returning from a knee injury that cost him the 2007 season.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig was pleased with the win.
“This was a good win over a quality side,” said Ludwig. “They have some good young players but we kept good composure until we got the first goal. I am happy that we kept them off the board with having three new players in the back. We are still learning to play together but this is a strong start.”
Marks picked up his first shutout of the year as he notched two saves while Virginia Wesleyan’s Ryan Zmuda registered just one save while he allowed two goals.
The Spartans held an 11-5 edge in total shots while York also held a 6-4 margin in corner kicks.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday evening when they face the host Captains at 7:30 pm.