YORK, PA - On a rainy, cold, and downright dreary Wednesday afternoon, the York College women's soccer team fell 1-0 to visiting Gettysburg on a 98th-minute converted penalty kick.
Seven minutes and thirty seconds into the first overtime, the Bullets (7-4-1) drew a penalty opportunity following a Spartan foul within the 18-yard box. Senior captain Tara Gaston stepped to the stop and buried the attempt to provide the visitors with the 1-0 victory.
Despite the unfavorable Wednesday conditions, the Spartans (11-3-1) were not without their chances. The Green and White posted eleven shots including eight attempts in the second half.
The Spartans proved dangerous throughout the second stanza nearly realizing the game's first tally on a trio of occasions. In the 73rd minute, Steph Mergler (Street, Md./North Harford) served a quality corner to Gettysburg's back post where freshman midfielder Kat Sipes (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) struck a header that she forced down toward the low right corner of the frame. With the goalkeeper beaten, Sipes looked to record her fourth goal of 2009 but was foiled when a Gettysburg defender, positioned against the post for the corner, cleared the shot off the line keeping the game scoreless.
The Spartans would come knocking again less than three minutes later. Sophomore standout Stephanie Rice (Glen Rock, Pa./Susquehannock) attacked the Gettysburg defense along the left sideline before providing an outstanding cross to an on-running Carly Bock (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville). Bock struck the service with her first touch but redirected it wide of the mark.
York's last best chance came in the 84th minute of play as Bock and Rice created another dangerous opportunity. Bock found Rice along the left side of the pitch before the sophomore blasted a near post attempt. But once again the Spartans would be turned away at the doorstep. Bullet goalkeeper Allie Rivera made an athletic, leaping save as she forced Rice's missile out for what would prove to be a harmless Spartan corner.
Despite suffering the loss, the Green and White defensive unit played exceptionally well. Lauren Stewart (West River, Md./Southern), Megan George (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall), Ally Wivell (Emmitsburg, Md./Catoctin), and Jackie Moser (Baltimore, Md./Sparrows Point) combined to only allow their guests nine total shots as only one of those attempts, aside from the penalty, was on-goal.
Rivera secures the victory for the Bullets as she made seven saves over her 97:34 of work. York goalkeeper Sarah Spanarkel (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) takes the hard-luck loss as she was forced to make only one stop on the afternoon.
The Green and White return to action this Saturday, finishing a strenuous slate of five games in nine days. York, who has posted a 3-1 mark over their previous four matches, will host Capital Athletic Conference foe St. Mary's in a crucial CAC tilt. Game time from Graham Field is slated for a 1:00 pm start.
Ally Wivell photo courtesy of Scott Guise