NEWPORT NEWS, VA – York College men's soccer coach Mark Ludwig picked up his 200th career win courtesy of an impressive 5-1 victory over Virginia Wesleyan College in the opening round of the 2012 Joe Pombriant/CNU Classic hosted by Christopher Newport University on Friday.
The milestone for Ludwig comes in the first game of his 14th season at the helm of the Green and White. Ludwig is now 200-63-25 in his tenure on the Spartan bench.
The Spartans trailed early in the game as the Marlins' Josh Richardson banged home a header inside the back post on a crossing pass from Brian Cornell in the game's 25th minute.
York responded exactly seven minutes later as freshman Brendan Saberton (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) took a hard touch, beat two Marlin defenders at the top of the box and then drilled a shot inside the left post, tying the game at one with just over 13 minutes left in the first half.
The quick strike Spartan offense gave York the lead just 1:33 later as freshman JP O'Connor (Forest Hill, Md./Archbishop Curley) notched his first collegiate tally. Junior Jake Hower (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) hit a cross that was tipped by Marlin goalie Connor Kirkham as the ball came to rest on O'Connor's foot. The freshman finished off the open goal chance on the back post, giving York the 2-1 lead.
Brendan Saberton's twin brother Christopher Saberton (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) notched the Spartans' third goal of the opening 45 when he took a Greg Bechard (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) pass and finished a 1-v-1 opportunity against Kirkham with just 1:16 remaining in the opening stanza, providing York with the 3-1 lead at the break.
The Spartan offense kept the beat going 7:03 into the second half as junior Taylor Brummitt (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) notched a very nice goal. Junior Daniel Baxter (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College) began the play by collecting a Virginia Wesleyan clear. He banged a pass to senior Justin Facer (Prospect Heights, Ill./North Allegheny) and Facer crossed a pass to Brummitt who one-timed Facer's helper into the back of the net for his first tally of the year.
Senior Antonio Bua (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) closed out the scoring in the 66th minute as he collected a rebound of his initial shot and finished it past Kirkham as the Spartans took the 5-1 lead.
The Spartans finished the match outshooting the Marlins 20-8 including 9-3 in shots on goal. Both teams earned six corner kicks in the match.
Freshman Leonardo Romero (Philadelphia, Pa./LaSalle College) earned the win in his collegiate debut as he recorded two saves in his 61:22 of work. Sophomore Brad Schmidt (Moorestown, N.J./Delran) played the final 28:38 and was not forced to make any saves during his stint in net.
Kirkham allowed five goals with three saves in 71:29 of action as he took the loss for VWC.
The Spartans will take Saturday off before returning to action on Sunday evening when they face #13 Christopher Newport in the second round of the tournament. The Captains tied #1 Ohio Wesleyan 2-2 in their opening match on Friday evening. Sunday's match is slated for a 1:00 pm start.