O'Connell's Two Goals Lift York to OT Triumph
YORK, Pa. – Senior forward Mike O'Connell notched two goals Wednesday afternoon as the York College men's soccer team bested visiting Gettysburg 2-1 in overtime during the Spartans inaugural "Give Cancer the Boot" match. The victory moves the Spartans to 12-4 on the year while the better-than-advertised Bullets drop to 4-8-1.
Level at 1-1 through the 90 minutes of regulation, the match spilled into overtime. Just over five minutes into the extra session however, O'Connell – the reigning Capital Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Offensive Player-of-the-Week, finished off his sixth goal of the season. Mike Gill slipped a pass to O'Connell inside the box putting the Spartan senior in great position to make a game-winning play. And that is exactly what he did as the forward calmly beat oncoming Gettysburg goalkeeper Connor Darrell to tally the game-winner – his second such score in three matches.
Grabbing the final result in the end, things looked bleak for the Spartan early in the match. A mere 1:11 into the contest, the Bullets' Brooks Taylor put the visitors up 1-0 with his first tally of the season. Taylor finished off a feed from Andrew LaFontaine as the Green and White found themselves in an early hole.
The second minute score however, gave the Spartans plenty of time to notch the equalizer. And York proved to only need another 18:24 and a timely substitution to knot the match at one.
Entering the game at the 18:55 mark, O'Connell quickly etched his name onto the score sheet. Just 40 seconds later, the Spartan headed home the game-tying goal off an assist from fellow senior Adam Good. Not only did O'Connell's tally level the game, but also provided the Green and White a measure of calm.
After O'Connell's initial tally, the Spartans would carry the majority of the play throughout the remaining 70 minutes of regulation and into the additional frame. Following the 20th minute goal, York posted 14 shots to only one for Gettysburg – with the 14th being the game-winner.
This match marked York's second venture into overtime this season as they are now 1-1 in OT contests. The Spartans fell 2-1 to then-#6 Johns Hopkins in double overtime on September 8.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Derksen snags the victory as he played all 90 minutes while Darrell suffers the loss despite making four stops.
The Spartans also secure their second victory this season in a game in which they have given up a goal. Of York's 13 triumphs this season, 11 have come via clean sheet.
The Green and White now sets their collective sights on #8 Salisbury as the Spartans travel to the eastern shore of Maryland this upcoming Saturday for a 2:00 pm clash. In a match that will decide home-field advantage throughout the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament, York currently sits atop the CAC with a 6-0 record while the talented Sea Gulls sport a 6-1 in-conference mark.
Photo animation: Mike O'Connell scores the equalizing goal in York's 2-1 overtime win against Gettysburg during the Spartans' inaugural "Give Cancer the Boot" match - photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com