Spartans Use Strong Second Half to Slide Past Hood

FREDERICK, MD – The York College women’s soccer team spoiled the Hood College Blazers’ 2009 home opener on a brilliant Thursday afternoon in Frederick, MD as the Spartans captured a 2-1 Capital Athletic Conference victory. The Blazers, who were christening their new Field-Turf facility, fall to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference while the Spartans are now 2-0 and 1-0 in the league.

The Blazers waited just 3:25 into the game to put the first goal in the history of the new facility on the board. The Spartans were pushing forward into the Blazer defensive half before a turnover allowed the hosts to counter, leading to Cara Jordan feeding a long outlet pass to Jessica Devine who got behind the Spartan defense and beat Spartan goalie Sarah Spanarkel (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) in a 1-v-1 situation for the goal.

The goal was the first-ever for the Blazers against the Spartans. York had won their previous five meetings with Hood by a combined score of 24-0.

The Spartans resumed the pressure on the Blazer defense and tied the game just over ten minutes later as junior Ali Jones (Riva, Md./Archbishop Spalding) collected a loose ball off a corner kick from Steph Mergler (Street, Md./North Harford) and drove the ball into the back of the net in the game’s 15th minute.

The Spartans and Blazers played the remainder of the half without a score as the teams took the 1-1 tie to the break. The Spartans outshot the hosts 9-3 in the first half while they also held an 8-2 bulge in corner kicks.

The second half began with Hood’s Carlie Colella getting a behind the Spartan defense and firing a shot on Spanarkel just 37 seconds into the half. The Spartans’ sophomore netminder challenged the shot and made the stellar save to preserve the tie for York.

The Spartans took the lead with Jones striking again in the 60th minute as Mergler hit her with a long outlet. Jones collected the ball, dribbled to the top of the box and chipped a ball past a charging Rachelle Buhrman for the game-winner.

The Spartans continued to pressure Buhrman for the remainder of the game. York had at least three other great chances in the second half but either Buhrman made a stop or the Spartans just barely missed the cage with the shot.

The Spartans finished the game outshooting the Blazers 23-4 including 14-3 in shots on goal. York also fashioned a 13-4 margin in corner kicks.

Spanarkel recorded a pair of saves as she improves to 2-0 overall while Buhrman recorded 12 saves in the loss.

Jones now has three goals for the Spartans in 2009.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Susquehanna University in a non-conference contest at Graham Field. The match is slated for a 1:00 pm kick off.

GAME BOX

Photo: Ali Jones strikes the ball that resulted in the game-winning goal for the Spartans in their 2-1 win Thursday (Photo by Scott Guise)