Spartans and Blue Jays Battle to a Scoreless Tie
BALTIMORE, MD – The #5 York College men’s soccer team registered their fourth draw of the season Wednesday evening, tying #11 Johns Hopkins University 0-0 in Baltimore, Md. The draw moves the Spartans’ 2009 mark to 11-1-4 while the Blue Jays now stand at 12-2-1.
The most dangerous chance of tonight’s 110 minutes came from Johns Hopkins in the game’s 86th minute. Max Venker, who was a thorn in York’s side all evening long, played a great through ball to Evan Kleinberg who raced behind the Spartan defense. With only goalkeeper Ryan Hock (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) to beat, Kleinberg slipped a low attempt just passed the on-coming Hock that looked like a sure goal. To the Spartans’ benefit however, Kleinberg’s attempt clanged off the inside of the post and caromed across York’s goal and away from the net as the match remained scoreless.
The Green and White had several exceptional chances throughout the match but were unable to convert.
Late in the first half, Aaron Good (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area) blasted a free kick from less than 30 yards away from goal that just skimmed the Blue Jay wall and out for a corner.
Sophomore Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) gave York another quality opportunity in the 53rd minute. Mike O’Connell (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) dropped a header to the feet of Nuspahic at the top of the Johns Hopkins 18-yard box. The reigning Capital Athletic Conference Rookie-of-the-Year struck a sizzler that flew over the crossbar as the score remained 0-0.
In the 88th minute, the host Blue Jays would begin playing one man-down as Chris Wilson was given his second yellow card – resulting in a red card – following a hard foul on York’s Andy Stromberg (Baltimore, Md./Fallston). However, the Green and White would prove unable to capitalize on the 11 v 10 opportunity.
The best chance for either squad in 20 minutes of overtime came in the 108th minute following a Johns Hopkins set piece. The free kick was initially knocked away but came to the foot of Tony Gass, as he ripped a shot that would have ended the match. Hock then put his outstanding athleticism on display as the senior’s sprawling lunge knocked the ball wide and out for what would prove to be a harmless Hopkins corner.
For the game, the Spartans held a slight 15-11 edge in shots as well as an 8-5 lead in corners.
Hock made four saves in the match as did his counterpart Ravi Gill for Johns Hopkins.
Including this match, the Spartans and Blue Jays have played a trio of contests over the past two seasons. Throughout those 310 total minutes, only one goal has been tallied – York’s 1-0 victory on September 10, 2008 – as both of the most recent contests have resulted in 0-0 draws.
The Spartans also drew 0-0 in their most recent match last Saturday against Mary Washington. These back-to-back scoreless games prove the first time the Green and White have been shutout in consecutive contests since 1999 – head coach Mark Ludwig’s first season at the helm. York lost a pair of 1-0 results on September 10th and 11th of that year to Richard Stockton and Montclair, respectively, which dropped the Spartans to 0-5-1 at the time.
Additionally, the Spartans have been held scoreless three times this season, falling to 0-1-2 over those three games. This marks the first time the Spartans have been held without a goal in more than two contests during the regular season since the 2003 campaign when the Green and White finished 15-7-1 having been shutout four times that year.
The 2009 squad returns to action on Saturday, October 24, when they host CAC foe St. Mary’s in a 3:00 p.m. match at Graham Field. Over the past three years, the Spartans have topped the Seahawks by a mere tally, needing overtime in both 2006 and 2007 to notch 2-1 victories before winning 1-0 in St. Mary’s City, Md. last season.
Justin Suchoski photo by Scott Guise