York, Pa. – The #10 York College men's soccer team put together an outstanding performance Saturday in the opening round of the inaugural Country Inn & Suites/Parma Pizza York College Soccer Tournament, as they topped visiting Medaille 3-0. On a beautiful afternoon in south central Pennsylvania, the Spartans improve to 3-1 on the season and 1-1 at home while the Mavericks fall to 3-2.
The Spartans jumped out to a quick start in the game, scoring the match's first goal in the fifth minute. Junior Andy Stromberg connected on a header from Lucas Emil for his first goal of the 2010 season. Following a Spartan corner kick, the ball found it's way to the foot of Kemal Nuspahic near the right end line. The forward quickly found Emil on the top right-hand side of the box allowing Emil to one-time a service to the back post. Stromberg alertly played the lofted ball, deftly knocking his header into the far right side of the goal.
Following the game's opening goal, the Spartans would have many more opportunities, six in total including an O'Connell header that clanged off the crossbar and a Nuspahic curling attempt that ricocheted off the right post, however none would prove successful. Going into the locker room at half, the Spartans held onto a slim 1-0 advantage, but had carried much of the play.
Heading into the second stanza the York side looked to maintain the momentum from a strong first 45. And in fact, they did just that.
The Spartans would open up the scoring in the second half three minutes into the frame. From the top of the penalty area, Mike O'Connell, who had just received a pass from Nuspahic, would put a left footed ripper past Medaille's goalkeeper Nick Kurtz in the 48th minute. The senior's first tally of 2010 gave the Green and White some breathing room.
O'Connell, who at this point had already seen a quality header carom off the crossbar, almost got the Spartans on the scoreboard again in the 52nd minute. Off of a Nuspahic corner, another O'Connell header attempt seemed destined for paydirt, except for an incredible diving one-handed-parry save by Medaille's Kurtz.
In the 68th minute, the Spartans would get one the scoreboard for the final time, courtesy of a shot-of-the-year type goal from Gill The Spartan captain scored his second of the season on a beautiful one-timer half volley from the top right side of the box. After a Michael Andrei shot was deflected by a Medaille defender, the ball floated from the left side of the penalty area. Gill abruptly struck a screaming full-volley strike that allowed Kurtz no chance for additional heroics.
The Spartans' return to their winning form was paced not only by their offensive output but also by their defensive work. Led by sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Derksen, who recorded three saves to preserve the team's clean sheet, the Green and White picked up their second shutout of the 2010 campaign.
York will now look to extend their winning ways in Sunday's championship game of the Country Inn & Suites/Parma Pizza York College Soccer Tournament. The Spartans will take on McDaniel in a 3:00 pm contest as the Green Terror defeated the Wilkes 1-0 in the first game of the tournament. Wilkes and Medaille are slated to play in the consolation game at 12:30 pm.
Photo: Spartan goal scorers Andy Stromberg (16), Mike O'Connell (9), and Mike Gill (7) celebrate their tallies on Saturday against Medaille - courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com
Game story written by Chris Meegan - York College
Athletic Communications practicum student