YORK, PA – The York College men's soccer team stayed hot as the Spartans won their third straight courtesy of a 1-0 victory over long-time regional foe Johns Hopkins University on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in York.
It was a defensive miscue that ultimately decided the game as the Spartans' goal came on an own goal in the 72nd minute. The Spartans' Chris Weaver (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) drove the ball down the right sideline before cutting the end line and feeding a pass towards the face of the goal. Hopkins defender Kenny DeStefano lunged to try to clear the ball but the pass caromed right off his leg and into the goal as that would prove to be the difference.
Just because the own goal was the only tally doesn't mean the game was devoid of action. The Blue Jays carried the play early in the and fired off the first three shots of the game. Hopkins most dangerous first half chance came from Nick White in the 11th minute. White struck a direct kick after a Spartan foul from about 22 yards out but Spartan goalie Jesse Derksen (York, Pa./Susquehannock) made the stop to record the save.
The Spartans slowly seized control of momentum midway through the first half as the action started moving into the Green and White's offensive half. York had a corner kick that resulted in an Pablo Martinez (Cheltenham, Pa./Northeast Catholic) header that just skimmed over the crossbar. That began a flurry that saw the Spartans earn three corners and squeeze off four shots over the final 20 minutes of the half.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, that sustained offensive push didn't result in a goal as the two teams went to the half in a scoreless tie.
The action continued to pick up after the half as both teams came after each other with renewed energy out of the break.
The opening volley came from White as he struck a header that Dersken saved just over two minutes into the half. The Blue Jays had their most dangerous opportunity of the game in the 67th minute as Kotaro Mitsuhashi beat Derksen and hit the post of a wide-open goal. The ball caromed harmlessly away as the game remained scoreless.
That near miss by the Blue Jays seemed to ignite the Spartans. Less than 75 seconds later, Taylor Brummitt (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) had a near miss of his own. He collected a rebound on a Cody Pearson (Crofton, Md./DeMatha Catholic) on the left wing and had Blue Jay goalie Nick Cerrone prone on the ground. Brummitt attempted a touch shot that just slid outside the right post.
The Spartan pressure continued and caused the Hopkins defensive miscue that resulted in the game's lone tally.
The Green and White almost got another goal but Hopkins' defender Brandon Sumpio cleared a Pearson shot off the line in the 73rd minute.
The Blue Jays pressed up over the final 15 minutes of the contest but York was able to hold off Hopkins for their first win in the series in the last five meetings. The two squads are now 1-1-3 in their last five contests.
The Spartans finished the game outshooting the Blue Jays 18-10 overall and 6-4 in shots on goal. York also held a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
Derksen earned his third win of the year as he recorded his second shutout of the year and his 13th career clean sheet. Derksen extended his personal scoreless streak to 326:54.
Cerrone recorded four saves in his 90 minutes in net for JHU.
The Spartans, who are ranked 15th in the nation according to d3soccer.com, improve to 6-1-1 overall while the Blue Jays fall to 3-3.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig was pleased with the win.
"It was a good overall team effort," stated Ludwig. "We played 18 to 20 guys, they all played with quality which is what we asked them to do."
York returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Neumann to face the Knights in a 1:00 pm non-conference contest.
Chris Weaver photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications