YORK, PA-The York College women’s soccer team put together a solid effort but fell to the Salisbury University Sea Gulls 2-1 in a big Capital Athletic Conference showdown on Saturday in York. The Sea Gulls remain unbeaten as they improve to 8-0-1 and 4-0 in the conference. The Spartans fall to 7-3-1 overall and 3-1 in the league.
The first half saw the Spartans carry the first 30 minute of action. York’s first dangerous opportunity came when senior Erin Kuhn (Turnersville, N.J. /Washington Township) was fouled just outside of the box. Junior Caitlin Allen (Langhore, Pa/Council Rock) took the direct kick, bent it around the wall only to have Salisbury keeper Gena Goodson make the stop in the 22nd minute. The Spartans maintained pressure on the Salisbury net. That pressure finally paid off in the 24th minute as senior Katie Kegerreis (Honey Brook, Pa./Twin Valley) captured a loose ball at midfield. The defender lofted a pass to a front-running Kayla Denmyer (New Freedom, Pa./Kennard-Dale) and the junior forward flipped a shot over Goodson for the 1-0 Spartan lead. The green and white had another good chance a minute later as junior Kaitlyn Harney (Stewartstown, Pa./York Catholic) hit a shot that just eased over the crossbar.
The Sea Gulls came roaring back in the final 15 minutes of the half as they regained their shape and seized the momentum. The Gulls had a corner kick in the 38th minute that the Spartans struggled to clear as the visitors continued to push up into the Spartans’ defensive zone. That change in momentum was capped with Hillary Grove hit a 43-yard bomb off a loose ball that rode the 20 m.p.h. wind, hit the inside of the left post and found the back of the cage, tying the game with just 3:30 remaining in the half.
The second half proved to be almost a carbon copy of the first half as the Spartans dominated play in the first 35 minutes only to have Salisbury hit a long bomb to win the game. The Spartans second half chances included consecutive shots from Kuhn and Emily Sullivan (Bowie, Md. / Archbishop Spalding) in a 35 second margin early in the half. York’s best chance came on a corner kick from Denmyer as she placed a perfect pass on the head of Kali Macgregor (Rockville, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross). Macgregor’s header just eased over the cross bar as six inches lower and the Spartans have a 2-1 lead with 16 minutes left in regulation. After Macgregor’s header missed, Sullivan fired another shot on goal but Salisbury again grabbed the momentum late in the half. They created a corner kick in the 83rd minute and kept the ball down the Spartans throat until Dana Passucci drilled a long shot, this time into the wind, from 30 yards out that went off Spartan keeper Desiree Halaka (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton). Halaka got her hands on the high shot but she could not control the ball’s momentum as it carried into the net for the Salisbury goal.
The Spartans had one last chance as senior Jenna Knaper (Red Lion, Pa. /Red Lion) struck a shot from the top of the box with just over a minute left only to have the shot nick the cross bar on the way by, falling harmless over the top of the goal.
The green and white held a 17-5 bulge in total shots including an 8-4 margin in shots on goal. York had six corner kicks to two for the Gulls.
Goodson earned the win as she notched seven saves for Salisbury. Halaka made two stops for the green and white.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Messiah College to face the Falcons in a non-conference contest. Kick off is slated for 7:00 pm.