YORK, PA – Freshman Ali Schoppe (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh) made her first collegiate goal a memorable one as she netted the game's lone goal, lifting the York College women's soccer team to an important 1-0 Capital Athletic Conference victory over Salisbury University on a sunny but cool Saturday afternoon in York.
The goal helped make the 2012 Spartans' Senior Day a memorable one as the Green and White closed out their regular season home slate with the win.
The victory lifts the Spartans to 7-1-5 overall and 2-0-2 in the CAC while the Sea Gulls fall to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the league.
The opening minutes of the game featured a pair of talented teams going back and forth with neither team having a decided advantage. The Spartans had what looked like an apparent goal seven minutes into the game. Elizabeth Bunn (Lotian, Md./Calverton School) flicked a header into the box and senior Jena Arnister (Water Mill, N.Y./Southampton) redirected the ball toward the goal. Salisbury goalie Michelle Conrad got caught out of position and had to scramble back. She batted at the ball and it went towards the far post. The ball appeared to tuck inside the post but the sideline referee said Conrad managed to keep the ball out of the cage and the game remained scoreless.
The Sea Gulls had a pair of dangerous chances courtesy of Sarah Pfundstein. She sailed a very dangerous shot just over the cross bar from the top of the box in the 19th minute and then hit the post in the 27th minute.
Schoppe struck for her goal just over five minutes prior to the halftime break. The Spartans played the ball into the box where senior Caitlin Aversa (Severna Park, Md./Archbishop Spalding) flicked the ball toward the goal. A gaggle of Gulls batted the ball around before Schoppe found the ball on her foot. The freshman drove the ball past a prone Conrad and the Spartans got the only goal they would need for the day.
The second half really lacked for many quality scoring chances as the Spartans played tight defensively with the one goal lead. The Sea Gulls best scoring chance came in the 83rd minute as Pfundstein lifted a nice ball off a corner kick. Salisbury's Casey Arnone found the ball on her foot in the middle of the box but her attempt was well high of target as the Green and White dodged a great Sea Gull chance.
The second half featured just two shots on goal and nine combined chances by both teams.
The Spartan defense continued to do the job as York notched its school-record 12th shutout of the year. The Green and White's defensive scoreless streak now stands at 873 minutes and they continue to be the top-ranked defensive squad in NCAA Division III.
Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner is thrilled with her team, particularly her starting group of defenders in Dale Mason (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy), Chelsea McDowell (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson), Jen Lindsay (North Massapequea, N.Y./Plainedge), and Aversa.
"The defensive unit had another great game and I am proud of Ali for finishing the chance she got to get the goal. We have struggled to score at times this year but we got an early goal and made that stand up. I am proud of how the kids performed and we just want to keep it rolling," said the Spartans' mentor.
Sophomore goalie Melanie Glessner (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) recorded her school-record 11th shutout of the year as she notched three saves in the win. Glessner has lowered her nation-leading goals against average to 0.07 while her save percentage increased to .980.
Conrad made three saves in her 90 minutes of work.
The Spartans finished the game with a slight 11-8 edge in total shots while they also had a small 4-3 margin in shots on goal. York also finished the match with a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Aversa, Arnister and Tyler Frantz (Bernville, Pa./Hamburg) played their final regular season game at Graham Field in the game. Prior to the contest, the trio was honored as part of the Senior Day festivities.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday evening when they travel to Frostburg State for a key Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time in Frostburg, MD is set for 6:00 pm.
Ali Schoppe photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications