YORK, PA – The York College women’s soccer team exploded for six goals Monday afternoon, topping visiting Alvernia 6-0. The Spartans improve to 6-1 on the season while the Crusaders drop to 2-7.
The Green and White jumped out front early, courtesy of an Alvernia own goal just 2:59 into the match. Junior captain Steph Mergler (Street, Md./North Harford) hit a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box, forcing Crusader net minder Kirsten Kelley to make a save. The ensuing rebound spilled towards the right side of the goal, which left junior forward Ali Jones (Riva, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and an Alvernia defender racing for the loose ball. In an attempt to clear it from danger, the Crusader defender inadvertently knocked the ball into her own net, resulting in the first goal of the match.
Jones would get a notch of her own just over two minutes later, converting in a brilliant piece of soccer. Mergler knocked a beautiful ball out wide right to an on-running Carly Bock (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) who provided an excellent service to Jones in the box. The junior wasted no time in heading home the cross for her fifth tally of the season.
York’s offense quieted throughout the remaining 39 minutes of the half, knocking on the doorstep a total of 16 times in the frame. Kelley made nine saves in the first 45 minutes to keep the score at a close 2-0.
With less than 15 seconds in the opening stanza, Alvernia posted what would prove to be their best chance of the game. Kate Wimberg got in just behind the Spartan defense and was dribbling toward goal as time was quickly ticking off the clock. In an effort to score before the halftime whistle, Wimberg hurried her attempt, shooting from around the 18-yard box. This provided Spartan goalkeeper Sarah Spanarkel (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) added time to make a collapse save, holding the shot to prevent any follow-up opportunity.
The second half started with much of the same, as the Spartans kept attacking but could not find the back of the net for the third time.
That would change in the game’s 64th minute. Following an Alvernia corner, the Spartans opened up a quick counter-attack as Bock found Mergler with a long pass up the middle of the field. The pass sprung Mergler free, giving her space to dribble toward goal. Mergler seemed to collect herself right before unleashing a low strike that found its way into the right side of the Crusader net.
York would then take advantage on their own corner kick in the 68th minute to go up by four. Allie Jensen (Parkville, Md./Parkville) played a short ball to Megan George (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) who knocked it back where it came from. Jensen then served it directly across the face of goal where Meaghan Rowland (Glen Burnie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) finished for her first score of 2009.
Less than four minutes after registering an assist, Jensen inked her name in the goals-scored column. Collecting the ball along the right side of the field, Jensen dribbled into the box as Kelley began cutting down her angle. The junior deftly slipped her right-footed shot passed Kelley’s outstretched arms and into the left side of the goal to put the Spartans up 5-0.
Sophomore Lacey Phillips (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake Senior) finished off the Spartan scoring, notching her first of the year in the 73rd minute, as York again took advantage of a corner kick. Following the Melissa Schneider (Elverson, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) service, Jensen knocked a header toward the Crusader goal, which was blocked by a defender. The ensuing loose ball created a melee in front of Alvernia’s net, allowing the ball to squirt to Phillips who knocked home the game’s final goal.
For the match, the Spartans held a huge 32-3 margin in shots, including a 16-0 effort in the second frame. York also garnered an 11-2 bulge in corner kicks.
Spanarkel picks up her sixth win of the season as she was forced to make only one save in her 45 minutes of action. Desiree Halaka (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) relieved the sophomore to start the second half and did not need to make a stop. Alvernia’s Kelley takes the loss despite turning in a valiant effort, recording 15 saves throughout her 90 minutes.
The Spartans are now set to host Elizabethtown on Wednesday, September 23, in non-conference action. Game time is slated for 4:00 pm.
Allie Jensen photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - York College Sports Information Student-Intern