Spartans Use Big Second Half to Clip Rutgers-Camden

Spartans Use Big Second Half to Clip Rutgers-Camden

YORK, PA – The nationally ranked York College men’s soccer team overcame a spirited Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptor club to post a 3-2 non-conference victory on an overcast Monday afternoon at Graham Field in York. The Spartans, who are ranked seventh in the nation, improve to 11-1-2 while the Scarlet Raptors fall to a very deceptive 6-7-2 record overall.

The last 15 minutes of regulation proved to be highly entertaining to the spectators who withstood the abnormally chilly fall afternoon. The Spartans, who had trailed 1-0 at the half, were aggressively pushing into the Raptors defensive third for the majority of the second half. The Spartans tied the game at one in the 57th minute as Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) struck a shot off the post that was collected by sophomore Eric Mackin (Moyock, N.C./Currituck County). Mackin calmly slid the ball to Mike O’Connell (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) who finished off the opportunity for the equalizer.

The Spartans continued to pressure the visitors and that pressure went up a notch when Rutgers-Camden defender Tim Ennis was ejected in the game’s 64th minute. With the man advantage, the Spartans continued to pepper Rutgers-Camden goalie Tim VanLiew but the keeper kept turning the hosts back. The Spartans finally converted one of their chances as Ports finished an opportunity for the apparent go-ahead goal. Aaron Good (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area) flipped a pass to Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) who flicked the ball to Ports who beat an on-rushing VanLiew for the goal in the 79th minute of the contest.

The Spartans looked like they were going to kill off the remaining 10 minutes of the game but the Scarlet Raptors had other ideas. The visitors, despite being a man-down, surged forward, pressuring the Spartans and forcing a corner kick. On that corner kick, with 2:22 remaining in regulation, Todd Kleinstuber floated a kick in the box that Chase Komer got his head on and bounced the ball past Spartan goalie Jesse Derksen (York, Pa./Susquehannock) for the equalizer with just 2:14 left in the game.

York wasted little time in reasserting themselves with the result of the game again in doubt. Senior Travis Williams (Springfield, Pa./Springfield Township) got the ball inside the box and fired a shot hard off the post but the rebound came right back to him and he tucked in the rebound for the game winner over a prone VanLiew. The goal was Williams’ fifth of the year and came with just 1:12 remaining in the game.

The Spartans successfully killed off the final minute to preserve the entertaining win.

York finished the game holding a 26-10 advantage in shots including a 10-5 margin in shots on goal. The Spartans had six corners to three for the guests.

Derksen made three saves as he earned the win to improve to 4-0-1. VanLiew suffered the hard luck loss as he made seven saves in his 90 minutes of work.

The Spartans are now off until Saturday, as they will prepare for a huge trip to the University of Mary Washington to face the Eagles in a Capital Athletic Conference contest that carries very important conference implications. The Eagles are a perfect 4-0 in league play while the Spartans are 4-0-1 in the conference. Game time in Fredericksburg is slated for 3:30 pm.


Photo: Travis Williams converted the game-winning goal late in Monday's win over Rutgers-Camden.