YORK, Pa. – On the strength of Chris Weaver's (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) game-winner, the York College men's soccer team picked up a dramatic 2-1 double-overtime victory over visiting rival Salisbury University Saturday afternoon in Capital Athletic Conference action. A typical York versus Salisbury match in its passion and intensity, the Spartans improve to 8-2-1 on the season including a 2-0 mark in CAC play while the Sea Gulls fall to 7-2-1 and 2-1-1 in the league.
Tied at 1-1 and well into the second overtime, Austin Johnson (Avalon, N.J./Middle Township) provided a great service from midfield as his left-footed serve flew across the field and for Weaver to bring down. The quick attacking Weaver deftly dribbled toward the Salisbury goal, getting by one defender before being challenged by Sea Gull goalkeeper John Vnenchak. In exciting fashion, Weaver tallied the game-winner, finding the back of the net to the high right side, giving the Green and White the CAC win.
Early in the contest however, Salisbury picked up the lead shortly after the opening whistle as Matt Greene put the visitors up 1-0 just 1:42 into the contest. From the right side of the field, Pat Callahan served a ball into the box where he found Greene's head. The ensuing header found the inside of the left post just out of the reach of a diving Jesse Derksen (York, Pa./Susquehannock).
The Spartans best chance of the first stanza came with 7:08 remaining as Eli Bjerk (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) nearly slipped one by an oncoming Vnenchak. Bjerk nearly got on the end of the aforementioned through ball attempting a little side-footed slip. Unfortunately for the Green and White, Vnenchak got a leg on the ball redirecting it and slowing it just enough for him to pounce upon and cease the Spartan threat.
York nearly got on the board early in the second half as Greg Bechard (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) picked off a Salisbury pass near the Spartans' attacking third. Charging toward the Sea Gull goal, Bechard slipped a pass to an on-running Justin Facer (Prospect Heights, Ill./North Allegheny) on the right side. Facer fired a shot but it was blocked by a diving Salisbury defender to preserve the 1-0 line.
With 19:54 remaining in the contest, Salisbury looked to go up 2-0 as a Spartan foul in the box resulted in a penalty-kick for the visitors. Chase Humphrey stepped to the spot but was denied by Derksen who made a great one-handed diving save, a stop which turned out to be huge for the Green and White.
The Spartan equalizer came less than four minutes later as Bjerk tallied his second of the season. Spartan central defender Aaron Beale (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) sent in a long service which was chested down at the top of the box by Johnson. Bjerk proved in the right spot at the right time as a bounding ball came his way and he alertly struck a shot that fired over Vnenchak to draw the game level at 1-1.
That 1-1 line remained intact throughout the remainder of regulation as the CAC rivalry spilled into overtime, setting up Weaver's late-game heroics.
The Spartans held a 17-13 edge in total shots and an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal. The Gulls had a sizable 11-5 margin in corner kicks in the game.
Derksen earned the win with six saves including the spectacular stop on the penalty kick. Vnenchak made four saves for the Gulls in the loss.
The victory is York's seventh in the previous 13 matches against the Sea Gulls (including CAC Tournament play), two of which were ties. Notably, 11 of those last 13, including today's game, have been decided by one goal or less with the other two being 2-0 wins for either side.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, October 3, when they travel to Penn State – Harrisburg for a 6:00 pm non-conference tilt.
Game recap written by Brent Duffy, Special Contributor to the Athletic Communications Office
On October 16, York self reported a rules violation resulting in Salisbury being declared the winner by forfeit, 1-0.