YORK, PA – In one of the most heated rivalries in the Capital Athletic Conference, the #9 York College men’s soccer team drew with visiting #2 Salisbury University 2-2 on a wet and dreary Saturday afternoon in York. The Spartans move to 6-0-2 (1-0-1 CAC) on the year while the Sea Gulls now sit at 7-1-1 (1-0-1 CAC).
The visitors opened up the scoring in the 23rd minute on a diving header from Chris Finney. Justin McGrath played a quality service from the left side of the field through the Spartan box where Finney was able to run onto the serve. Finney then headed home his fourth tally of the year to give Salisbury the 1-0 advantage.
That score would hold throughout the remaining minutes of the first frame as the sides split for halftime with the Sea Gulls owning the slight edge.
It proved to be the second half and beyond that would provid the majority of excitement for both squads.
Beginning the second stanza, Spartan rookie forward Antonio Bua (Lancaster, Pa./Laupeter-Strasburg) fired a shot that led to a York corner kick 6:34 into the half. On the ensuing corner, senior All-American Jon Ports (Balitmore, Md./McDonogh) served a beautiful ball that Scott Becker (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum) was able to bring to his feet the just 12 yards from Salisbury’s goal. The senior center back wasted little time before striking a right-footed shot that found the back of the Sea Gull net, knotting the match at one apiece.
After Becker’s first score of the season at the 52:07 mark, it took just over eight minutes for the Spartans to notch the go-ahead score. Travis Williams (Springfield, Pa./Springfield Township) played a brilliant lofted ball from the left side of the field as Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) streaked into the box from the right. On the wet turf, the ball bounded as Nuspahic timed his run flawlessly to just get a touch to the Williams’ service. Nuspahic’s touch redirected the service into the Sea Gull goal for York’s second of the day and his team-leading fourth of the year.
The Spartans nearly tallied an insurance score in the 63rd minute as Mike Gill (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) knocked a 30 yard shot that seemed headed on goal. Salisbury goalkeeper Greg Wellinghoff pushed Gill’s attempt over the crossbar and out for what turned out to be a harmless York corner.
That insurance tally would have proven useful for the Green and White as Salisbury tied the score with only 1:17 to play in regulation. With time ticking toward 90 minutes, Justin Lambert knocked a pass from the right side sliding it across the face of York’s goal. Lambert’s pass found the foot of Alex Hargrove who deftly placed his attempt back across the net and in for the game-tying score.
As the match spilled into overtime, the Spartans looked as if they might end the game just 1:16 into the first extra session. Trey Good (Narvon, Pa./Pequea Valley) struck a low shot from the left side of the pitch, 25 yards from goal. The low ripper skipped just wide of the right post however allowing the match to continue.
Salisbury had a close call of their own as they scored what appeared to be the game-winner in the 100th minute of play. After an officials’ conference however, the goal was disallowed as the Sea Gull player was ruled offsides.
In the second overtime, the Green and White managed three shots plus one great opportunity on a cross that slipped just passed Nuspahic on the soaked turf.
For the match, the Spartans held an 18-8 advantage in shots as well as a 5-4 edge in corner kicks.
Ryan Hock (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) notched three saves for the Green and White as he played all 110 minutes between the pipes. Wellinghoff recorded six saves including several quality stops in Salisbury’s first draw of 2009.
The Spartans do maintain their unbeaten streak, which has now reached 28 consecutive games dating back to the 2007 campaign.
York returns to action on Tuesday, September 29, in another CAC match. The Spartans head to Arlington, Va. to face host Marymount in a 4:00 pm tilt.
Kemal Nuspahic photo courtesy of Steve Doemland (www.stevedoemland.com)