Spartans' Offensive Burst Opens York's New Outdoor Complex in Style

YORK, PA – The York College women’s soccer team kicked off their 2009 campaign and York's new outdoor complex with an offensive flurry Tuesday afternoon, besting the visiting Eastern University Eagles 4-2. The Spartans tallied three second stanza goals, including a pair of late scores, to secure their opening match of the year.
    Tied at one with less than 15 minutes to play, the Spartans notched a go-ahead score in the 78th minute off the boot of junior forward Steph Mergler (Street, Md./North Harford). The captain dribbled inside the Eastern penalty area before slotting a beautifully placed strike inside the near left post, giving the Green and White a 2-1 advantage.
    The Eagles responded quickly as Jillian DiRenzo struck for her second goal of the game. With only 10:14 left, DiRenzo drove home a Katie Ruth cross from inside the Spartans’ six-yard box to knot the score at two.
    With an opportunity for deflation, the York side posted a response of their own as Stephanie Rice (Glen Rock, Pa./Susquehannock) and junior Ali Jones (Riva, Md./Archbishop Spalding) combined for what would prove to be the game-winner in the match’s 84th minute. Rice attacked the Eagle defense making a fantastic left-side run to Eastern’s endline. The sophomore struck a brilliant short service to Jones who one-timed the serve for her first tally of 2009.
    Mergler and Rice capped off a superb offensive output in the 89th minute, combing on York’s fourth score. Mergler, who had been stopped on the right side of the pitch, turned and quickly switched fields finding Rice along the left. Rice swiftly dribbled on goal and slotted a high strike for the Spartans’ final tally of the match.
    After falling behind by an early 1-0 margin, the Green and White responded with an equalizer in the 41st minute. Senior midfielder Meghan Rowland (Glen Burnie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) found an open Carly Bock (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) along the right side of the field. Bock struck a high floater that drifted out of the reach of Eagle netminder Alysia Goodman and tucked into the left side of the goal.
    For the match, the Green and White owned a 19-8 advantage in shots and a 6-2 margin in corner kicks.
    Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Spanarkel (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) picked up the win in the Spartan net tallying four saves over her 90 minutes of work. Spanarkel’s best effort however, came in the 55th minute with the match knotted at one and Eastern’s DiRenzo dribbling in on goal. Spanarkel quickly cut down DiRenzo’s angle, slid, and recorded the kick save to keep the score tied at one apiece.
    Goodman takes the loss for the Eagles, as she notched five saves over her 90 minutes.
    The Spartans return to action and open their Capital Athletic Conference schedule on Thursday, September 3. York is set to travel to Hood College for a 4:30 pm tilt with the Blazers.


Stephanie Rice photo courtesy of York College sophomore Zach Clabaugh