Strong Second Half Propels Spartan Men to 3-1 Win at Eastern

Strong Second Half Propels Spartan Men to 3-1 Win at Eastern

ST. DAVIDS, PA – The ninth-ranked York College men's soccer team used a big second half to hold of a talented Eastern University squad on Wednesday afternoon in St. Davids, PA.

The Spartans improve to 9-1 overall as they have won five straight. The Eagles fall to 8-2 with the setback.

The Eagles took the play to the Green and White early as they fired off the first three shots of the game. The final attempt of that series found the back of the net as Eric Giovagnoli struck an early shot from the 18 to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead 12:08 into the game. Giovanoli's goal was his seventh of the year and snapped York's defensive scoreless streak at 388:42.

York steadied the ship and started to apply pressure to the Eastern defense. On York's fourth shot of the game, sophomore standout Brendan Saberton (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) received a cross from Tobi Iguade (Bowie, Md./DeMatha Catholic) and volleyed home the feed from the middle of the box, tying the game at one in the 28th minute of the game. The goal was Saberton's third of the year.

The two squads continue to go at each other over the final 20 minutes of the half with neither team holding a decided advantage.

The battle continued in the opening minutes of the second stanza as play was back-and-forth for the first 20 minutes. The Green and White built a great chance when Christopher Gillespie (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) hit a great cross that found senior Jake Hower (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro). Hower put the opportunity in the back of the net, giving York the go-ahead goal. The tally came in the 72nd minute and is Hower's fourth of the campaign.

York got a huge insurance goal in the 83rd minute when seniors Daniel Baxter (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College) and Austin Johnson (Avalon, N.J./Middle Township) combined for York's third goal of the game. Baxter fed Johnson for a one-time shot from just outside the 18.

Eastern would manage two shots over the final eight minutes but both attempts missed cage as the Spartans earned the non-conference victory.

Junior Brad Schmidt (Moorestown, N.J./Delran) earned the win in net as he allowed one goal with two saves for the match. Eastern's Joe Centeno recorded two stops in his 90 minutes of work for the Eagles.

York held a 14-12 edge in total shots and a 5-4 margin in shots on goal. Eastern had an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.

The Spartans return to Graham Field on Saturday for another big contest as they host new Capital Athletic Conference and longtime regional rival Christopher Newport University. The Fall Fest contest will kick off at 3:00 pm in York.

Jake Hower photo courtesy of David Sinclair