Late Goal Lifts F&M to Win Over Spartans

YORK, PA –  Franklin & Marshall's Selena Boro made her first goal of the year a game-winner as her Diplomats earned a 3-2 non-conference victory over the York College Spartans in a non-conference contest at a chilly Graham Field in York on Sunday. The Spartans fall to 4-7 overall while the Diplomats improve to 5-2-1 for the campaign.

Boro's game-winner capped a crazy final 20 minutes of regulation as the Spartans battled back from a 2-0 deficit only to have the Dips score with less than three minutes left in regulation to steal the win.

The opening 15 minutes of the contest saw the play contained mainly in the middle of the field as neither team could maintain any sustained possession. The Diplomats earned a corner kick in the 19th minute and they took advantage of the opportunity. Sarah McGahran lofted the kick into the box where Nancy Epstein volleyed home the service for the goal and the 1-0 Diplomat lead.

The guests held a slight 4-3 edge in first half shots while both teams notched two corner kicks.

The eventful second half started with Epstein banging home her second goal of the game just 6:47 into the second 45 minutes of play. Epstein received the ball just beyond midfield, dribbled past the Spartan defense and buried a shot inside the upper right 90 for the 2-0 Franklin & Marshall lead.

Epstein almost had a natural hat trick as she had a breakaway in the 59th minute but Spartan netminder Sarah Spanarkel came out and challenged Epstein forcing the Diplomat forward to shoot earlier than she would have liked. Spanarkel made the stop on the ensuing shot, keeping York within two goals.

The Diplomats had yet another breakaway opportunity but Spanarkel again stood tall as she stopped a Carley Nicholson shot in the 71st minute. About a minute later, the Spartans got on the board as York had a corner kick that got cleared out past the box. Sophomore Dale Mason collected the ball and chipped it back into the box where Caitlin Aversa finished off the chance inside the right post for her first goal of the year.

York looked like it would gain a tie just two minutes later as senior Stephanie Rice hit an absolute bullet from 25 yards out. The ball hit the cross bar square and bounded down inside the box but there were no Spartans close enough to the ball to be able to finish the chance.

York finally notched the equalizer in the 82nd minute as sophomore Jordan Snook scored her team-high fourth goal of the year. Rice played a loose ball into the box that Snook redirected the ball into the goal. The goal capped a furious ten minutes of play that saw the Spartans apply a tremendous amount of pressure on the Diplomat defense.

Boro's game-winner was set up when Spencer Plante received a long pass from the left flank and settled the ball before dribbling down the side of the field. She gave perfect service to Boro who finished the chance in the right side of the net with 2:37 left in regulation.

York made a frantic run in the final two minutes highlighted by a Lauren Ward chance but the Spartans would come up empty as they suffered their seventh straight non-conference loss of the year.

York finished the game holding an 11-9 edge in total shots while the Diplomats were more accurate with their shots as they had an 8-3 margin in shots on goal. The Spartans did record eight corner kicks for the match to just two for the Diplomats.

Amanda McGowan recorded a save in 90 minutes for F&M while Spanarkel notched five stops for the game.

York is now off until October 8 when they travel to Salisbury University to face the Sea Gulls in a big Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time in Salisbury is set for 1:00 pm.

Caitlin Aversa photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)