Catholic Edges York in Physical Contest

YORK, PA – The Catholic University Cardinals women's soccer team got a goal in the 82nd minute to swipe a non-conference win at York College on Wednesday in York.

The Cardinals improve to 5-4 overall while the Green and White falls to 4-3-1 for 2013.

The game was marked by physical and aggressive play from both sides from the start. The Cardinals squeezed off the first five shots of the game but it was York who had the first dangerous scoring chance when freshman Kirsten Good (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) blasted a shot from outside the box that scooted just outside the right post.

The two teams continued to share the momentum in the first half. The Spartans had another solid opportunity in the 39th minute when Traci Mohl (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon Catholic) collected a long outlet and rushed into the Cardinal box. Goalie Amy-Lyn Friel charged out and made a fantastic save on Mohl's initial shot. Freshman Ramona Schueler (Abington, Md./Patterson Mill) collected the rebound but her second chance shot was wide of the mark as the Cardinals avoided a dangerous Spartan chance.

Catholic's Alyssa Fiore had the Cardinals best chance in the 42nd minute as she had a 1-v-1 with Spartan rookie net minder Stevi Lukacz (Leesport, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) but Fiore's shot was high of target as the teams headed to the break locked in a scoreless tie.

The Cardinals came out of the break and pressured the Spartans in the opening minutes of the half. The pressure didn't result in any shots but York was definitely back on their collective heels.

Much like they have all season, York battled back and seized the momentum of play. York's Jordan Neiheiser (Reading, Pa./Berks Catholic) had a 1-v-1 chance with Friel and again the Cardinal goalie made an aggressive play as she thwarted the Spartan opportunity. After the save, the Cardinals countered and had an outstanding chance of their own when Kaylre Greaves had a long break away but she missed her chance wide right as the game remained scoreless in the 53rd minute.

The Cardinals made another run at the Spartans midway through the half as Catholic fired off three straight shots in a minute and a half span. York quickly responded with back-to-back shots two minutes later as the intensity and physicality of the game continued to rise as the game progressed.

The Cardinals finally broke through in the 82nd minute. Neiheiser had possession and was physically separated from the ball. The loose ball was picked up by the Cardinals who moved the ball down the far right sideline. Lindsay Aleman played the ball into the box where Greaves one-timed the ball into the back of the net for the game's lone goal. The goal is Greaves' team-leading fifth of the season.

The Spartans tried furiously to get the equalizer but Friel again stood tall for the Cardinals as she made a fantastic save on a Jenn Lindsay (North Massapequea, N.Y./Plainedge) 1-v-1 opportunity in the 87th minute.

Friel ended the game with six saves as she earned her first win of the year. Lukacz registered eight saves in her first collegiate start as she replaced injured All-American Melanie Glessner (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone).

Catholic outshot the Spartans 20-12 but only 9-6 in shots on goal. Both squads had two corner kicks in the contest. 

The Spartans return to action on Saturday as they open Capital Athletic Conference play at Salisbury University. Kick off in Salisbury is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

Jordan Neiheiser photo courtesy of Taylor Gamber