YORK, Pa. – The York College men's soccer team embarks on the 2011 NCAA Tournament this weekend, heading to Newport News, Va. for the Christopher Newport pod. The Spartans are slated to face on DeSales in the opening match on Saturday at 5:00 pm while the host Captains take on Randolph at 7:30 pm.
York heads into their seventh straight NCAA Tournament as victors of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament and carrying an 11-5-5 mark. Currently on a ten-match unbeaten streak, the Green and White have registered an 8-0-2 mark over their last ten.
That streak has seen the Spartan defense put together a strong showing. Led by 2011 All-CAC performers Aaron Beale and Ethan Kavanagh, the York squad has only allowed five goals in those ten contests, including six shutouts.
Offensively, the Spartans head into the match having tallied multiple goals in six of those ten games, including two of their last three. All-CAC forwards Antonio Bua and Mike Gill along with midfielder Cody Pearson will look to drive the Spartan attack as they look to continue that recent trend. Adding to the attack, sophomore forward Taylor Brummitt has been on a tear as of late, scoring in each of York's three CAC playoff matches.
This season marks the seventh straight year that York has appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Beginning in 2005, the Green and White have played in each of the last seven national tournaments, hosting at least one round in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Making appearances in the Elite Eight in both 2006 and 2007, the Spartans have put together a 7-2-5 mark over their previous six appearances.
DeSales enters the contest sporting quite a successful season. The Bulldogs, who are in the Middle Atlantic Conference – Freedom, recorded a 14-4-2 campaign and received an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs have put together an outstanding year, proving to be a tough squad. Earlier in the season, DeSales ripped off a ten-game win streak from September 20 to October 19, including victories over Lebanon Valley and Misericordia, the 2011 MAC-Freedom champion.
Having recently hit a rough patch, the Bulldogs have gone 1-2-1 in their last four matches, including a recent loss of 3-0 to Eastern in the conference playoffs.
In their history, DeSales has made four NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. Most recently, the Bulldogs fell to Swarthmore 2-1 in the first round last year.
Derek Long, the 2010 Player of the Year in the MAC-Freedom, leads his team into the match. He has posted a team-best 12 goals while adding four assists. Jonathon Balfour has 11 netted tallies with an impressive eight helpers. Balfour sits in third in his conference in numerous categories including: points per game (1.58), total points (30), and assists (8). He also ranks fourth in total goals scored and second in the league with four game winners.
The Bulldogs bring solid goalkeeping to the tournament this year. Colin Sulpizio and Mike Thompson have combined with goals against averages of 1.26 and 1.36, respectively. Sulpizio enters as the 'go-to' man with a 10-3 record, 54 saves, and a .771 save percentage.
York and DeSales are set to square off a 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 12. Please visit www.ycpspartans.com for updated information including live stats during the match.