Spartans Top Mary Washington; Advance to Title Match

YORK, PA – The #5 York College men’s soccer team advances to the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference tournament after a resounding 4-1 victory over visiting Mary Washington Tuesday afternoon in the semifinal round. The Spartans post their 14th win of the year as they now stand at 14-1-4 while the Eagles drop to 12-7-1.

After not finding paydirt in their 0-0 draw with Mary Washington on October 17, despite peppering the Eagles with 15 shots, the Spartans needed only one to notch their first score of this match. In the 10th minute, senior All-American Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) knocked home his fifth of the year after Lucas Emil (Parsippany, N.J./Morris Catholic) and Kemal Nuspahic (East Petersburg, Pa./Warwick) combined through the midfield. Near the midline, Emil slipped a pass to Nuspahic who one-timed the ball on to a streaking Ports. The senior chased down the lead pass and then deftly slipped his shot into the far left netting past an outstretched Emmett Rutkowski, giving the home squad an early 1-0 advantage.

Ports’ tally proves the first postseason goal for the Green and White since the second round of the NCAA Tournament on November 11, 2007. Against Eastern that day, Mike O’Connell (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) notched the game-winner, courtesy of an Andrew Wheeler (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco) assist, in a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Hoboken, N.J.

The Spartans got on the board for a second time against Mary Washington, just 6:32 later as Antonio Bua (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) slipped in a tricky toe-poke. From the top of the box, Ports played a lead pass to Bua on the left side of the penalty area that the freshman collected but was momentarily dispossessed by an Eagle defender. Undaunted, Bua fought back to regain possession and dribbled along the left endline. As Rutkowski cut down his angle, Bua quickly pushed a shot by the on-coming goalkeeper – netting what would prove to be the game-winner.

The half came to a close with the Spartans holding a 2-0 advantage.

That lead would be cut in half quickly however, as Mary Washington converted a penalty kick 6:25 into the second stanza. A Spartan foul just inside the top right corner of the 18-yard box allowed Matt Lawrey to bring his squad to within one as 38:35 remained on the clock.

Lawrey’s tally was the only goal the visitors could muster as the Spartan defense allowed only two more Mary Washington attempts, neither of which were on frame.

The Spartans stretched their lead to 3-1 in the 75th minute as Mike Gill (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) provided the insurance tally. A deep Andy Stromberg (Baltimore, Md./Fallston) throw-in bounded in the penalty area allowing Gill to snap a header for his third score of 2009.

York’s fourth notch came by way of their own penalty kick in the 85th minute. Nuspahic was tripped up along in the right side of the box as he chased after a long touch. Both drawing and taking the penalty, Nuspahic slotted home his seventh of the year as the Spartans came away with the 4-1 result.

For the match, the Green and White held a 21-4 bulge in shots including a 9-1 lead in shots on goal. York also led in corners by a 5-1 count.

Senior goalkeeper Ryan Hock (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) captures the victory for the Spartans as he went the distance. Despite making four saves over his 60:35 of work, Rutkowski suffers the loss as he surrendered two of York’s four on the afternoon. Alec Constantine came in with 29:25 to play, relieving an injured Rutkowski, as he made one save for the Eagles.

The Spartans now set their sights to Saturday’s CAC Championship match. York will host Stevenson University for the league title as the fourth-seeded Mustangs bested top-seed Salisbury 1-0 Tuesday afternoon. Please visit www.ycpspartans.com for the start time of Saturday’s match.

BOX SCORE

Mike Gill scores York's third goal of the game in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Mary Washington - photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)