GRANTHAM, Pa. – The York College men's soccer team lost a 1-0 non-conference heart-breaker on Wednesday evening at Messiah. The game definitely lived up to the hype of a clash between traditional powers. Both teams played tremendous games and had plenty of chances to get on the board but it was a late goal from Messiah that ended the battle.
With the loss the Spartans drop to 7-2-1 while the Falcons improve to 8-0-1 overall.
The game was extremely physical from the first whistle until the last. Both teams were willing to lay it all on the line for the win. The Spartans definitely held the advantage in the first half. Antonio Bua (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) ripped a shot from outside the box that went just wide of the cage only 12:26 into the game. Right before halftime Aaron Beale (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) had a solid header that slid just past the far post and Chris Weaver (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) was able to get another huge shot off but it was deflected at the last second. Going into halftime the atmosphere was filled with excitement and intensity.
The Falcons came out in the second half much more composed and seemed to control the tempo. Just eight seconds in, Messiahs' Jack Thompson cranked a shot from outside the box that was blocked. The Spartans would recover and make a comeback of their own. Greg Bechard (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) ripped a shot that was only inches wide of the goal at 51:57. Minute's later Spartan goalkeeper Jesse Derksen (York, Pa./Susquehannock) came up with a huge save to keep the game tied 0-0.
With 26 minutes left in regulation Taylor Brummitt (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) had what was most likely the best opportunity for the Spartans to take the lead. Unfortunately the beautiful shot hit the crossbar. Messiah would then go on to take the last six shots in regulation but could not find the back of the net.
Heading into the first overtime both teams had even more opportunities to put the game away but could not capitalize. York was able to block a lot of the shots that Messiah continued to fire.
In the second overtime the Spartans seemed to loose a little bit of gas, but continued to fight with all they had. Messiah missed a wide-open net at 101:33. York would make a good run up the field but would be called offside's.
Derksen made another huge save for the Spartans with under five minutes to play. The Falcons would soon strike again getting Derksen out of position and Joshua Wood would score his first goal of the season and the game-winner for Messiah.
"We set the standard to play high tonight," said head coach Mark Ludwig. "We came in to play one of the best teams in the country, on their field and we played them toe-to-toe. We gave our best, they gave their best and unfortunately they got the goal."
The Falcons held a decent 24-13 advantage in shots and a slim 7-5 advantage in corner kicks. Pablo Martinez (Cheltenham, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) and Weaver each had three shots. Bua and Bechard added two shots each as well.
Both goalkeepers played tremendous in net. Derksen made some outstanding saves, especially late in the game and finished the game with four total saves. The Falcons goalkeeper Brandon West played equally as well and finished with a total of six saves.
"Jesse made some great saves, I couldn't believe it was a 0-0 game after regulation," said Ludwig.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon in an important game against CAC rival Salisbury. The game is set for 2:00 pm at Graham Field.