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Third Time's a Charm, Spartans Earn CAC Championship
SALISBURY, MD-After two Capital Athletic Conference championship game appearances, the third time was the charm for the York College women’s soccer team as the green and white earned their first title with a 2-0 win over Salisbury on a cold and windy Saturday in Salisbury, MD. The Spartans improve to 13-5-3 as they have earned the program’s first title and first trip to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament. Salisbury falls to 14-3-1 with the loss.
The first half saw the Sea Gulls have the better of the play but they would not be able to capitalize on that momentum as the teams headed to the break locked in a scoreless tie. The Gulls held a slight 6-5 edge in total shots while York had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Spartans settled in to start the second half and displayed the form that has carried them the last few weeks. The green and white turned up the pressure on the Gulls as a majority of the play was in the Spartans’ offensive half of the field. That pressure paid off in the 66th minute as junior defender Caitlin Allen (Langhorne, Pa./Council Rock) converted a loose ball into a goal as she drilled the ball past Salisbury goalie Gena Goodson. The goal was Allen’s second of the season and really gave the Spartans a big boost of confidence midway through the half. The Spartans tacked on a huge insurance goal off a corner kick as Kaitlyn Harney (Stewartstown, Pa./York Catholic) struck a beautiful corner that settled on the head of senior Emily Sullivan (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding). Sullivan snapped the header home for the 2-0 lead with just over 11 minutes left in regulation.
The Spartans were able to kill off the final 11 minutes as Salisbury got just one shot the rest of the way.
Junior Meagan Cahill (Crofton, Md./Arundel) picked up her sixth shutout of the year as she made three saves in the win. She improves to 10-3-3 for the year. Goodson had six saves for the Gulls as she absorbed the loss.
York finished the game with a 16-8 bulge in total shots including an 11-2 margin in the second half. The Spartans also finished the match with a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner was thrilled with the victory.
“This is what we have been waiting for,” stated Sterner. “We went through some adversity this season but the kids did a great job of coming together and working towards this goal. I am proud that we were finally able to get over the hump and bring home a championship. I could not be more proud of our kids and our staff.”
The Spartans must now wait to see where they will be playing in the NCAA tournament. The tournament field will be announced on Monday, November 5. Please check www.ycpspartans.com for complete details on Monday.
(Photograph of championship celebration courtesy of Eric Linsley)