Record: 7-8-3, 5-3-1 Capital Athletic Conference (4th)
Head Coach: Evan Scheffey (24-25-5, 3 seasons)
Ranked opponents: No. 10 Messiah (L, 1-0), No. 14 Johns Hopkins (L, 4-1), No. 25 Mary Washington (L, 2-0)
The York College men's soccer team suffered some growing pains during a rebuilding season with freshmen and sophomores making up over 75 percent of the roster. Still, the Spartans reached the Capital Athletic Conference playoffs for the third consecutive season, and for the 26th time in the last 27 seasons.
"I think that we showed we can play some good soccer and compete against some very good teams," head coach Evan Scheffey said. "However, we just weren't consistent enough on a game-to-game basis to realize our full potential this fall."
There were plenty of bright spots all over the field, and the stat sheet usually highlighted the influx of young talent; 26 of the 38 goals scored came from players in their first or second seasons.
York started hot, easily capturing the "Turk" Emekli DC Classic, hosted by Catholic in Washington D.C. The Green and White took down Carroll (Wisc.) and the host Cardinals, 4-2 and 5-2, respectively, in back-to-back days. After the season-opening tournament, though, York fell into a rough stretch of games, which included two NCAA Tournament quarterfinalists and the eventual national champion, in which the Spartans went winless in seven straight games. Three of those games went to overtime, including the CAC opener against Christopher Newport.
The Spartans got back on track with a pair of road conference wins in dominating fashion, outscoring Marymount (Va.) and PSU Harrisburg 9-1. York picked up three more conference wins along the way, earning the fourth seed in the conference tournament, and hosting Salisbury in the opening round.
York certainly came on strong late, something Scheffey was proud of. "To the credit of the guys," he said, "although we lost a few games early that we felt we should've won, they kept working and progressing and we were playing our best soccer the last two weeks of the season which is a testament to them."
The 2017 season was ended in heartbreaking fashion, failing to advance in penalty kicks after 110 minutes led to a 1-1 deadlock.
"I believe the older guys have set a really good foundation for us to build on moving forward," Scheffey explained. "I am excited to see this group that we have returning take a big step forward heading into the 2018 season."
Spartans Open Season with "Turk" Emekli DC Classic Trophy: Six different players scored in the first two games of the season in a pair of dominating efforts against Carroll (Wisc.) and Catholic in Washington D.C. The squad combined to unleash 30 shots, generating loads of chances from a lot of different situations. Incredibly, six of the nine goals came off set pieces or stoppages.
Freshmen and Seniors Shine in Southern Virginia Rout: On Senior Day, the Green and White buried a season-high eight goals to cruise past Southern Virginia University. All three seniors, Joel Teston, Chris Hobbs and Ben Mochan, earned at least one point, and combined for four goals and an assist in the win. Teston led the scoring with his second career hat trick. Freshmen Zion Friday, Danny Morgan and Michael Pearson all scored as well.
York Secures a Home Playoff Game With Huge Win Over St. Mary's: The Spartans fell behind 1-0 midway through the first half to the Seahawks, who entered the game 7-1 in conference play. Freshman Zion Friday equalized in the 36th minute to pull the Green and White even. Danny Morgan, another freshman, broke the deadlock just 4:18 into the second half to push York ahead. Barak Amige finished off St. Mary's in the 79th minute with his first goal of the season, clinching a home game in the first round of the CAC playoffs.
Brook Addisu's Free-Kick Magic: In the early-season tournament in Washington D.C., Brook Addisu blasted two impressive free kicks into the back of the net. Against Carroll (Wisc.), he scored in the 90th minute to seal a 4-2 win with a long-range effort into the top corner. Against Catholic, he launched a free kick into the box, which led to a goal for Chris Hobbs and a 1-0 lead for the Spartans. Later, Addisu curled one into the top corner finishing the Cardinals off.
Zion Friday Opens Career in Style: Freshman Zion Friday, who finished the season with a team-high 19 points on seven goals and five assists, tallied four points on a goal and two assists in his collegiate debut against Carroll (Wisc.). Down 1-0, Friday took the ball on the left side of the box and charged forward, taking on two Pioneer defenders. He bullied his way through the middle of them, and then nutmegged a recovering defender before calmly slipping the ball past the keeper. He later recorded assists by playing Keith Witherell in behind the defense, and flicking a header to Chris Hobbs.
Billy Bridegum Matches School Record: The Spartans battled to a 1-1 draw on the road against Salisbury behind 11 saves from freshman Billy Bridegum. His 11 saves equaled a school record, matching Charlie Johnson's total from 2015 against Johns Hopkins.
HONORS AND AWARDS
All-Capital Athletic Conference
First Team: Brook Addisu
Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week
October 16: Billy Bridegum – Defensive Player of the Week
"Turk" Emekli DC Classic
Tournament Most Valuable Player: Zion Friday