NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The York College men's soccer team saw their 2011 campaign come to a heartbreaking end Saturday evening, falling 1-0 to DeSales in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The loss brings the Spartan season to a close with an 11-6-5 mark while DeSales moves on to face Randolph in round two sporting a 15-4-2 record.
With just 1:42 remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs' Matthew Gerscheid collected the ball from a pass by Jonathan Balfour and raced toward the Spartan goal from the right side. Goalkeeper Steve Handy came out to cut off the angle but Gerscheid lifted his attempt over the sliding netminder for the game-winner.
The Green and White played well throughout a majority of the contest, despite playing down a man for 72:40 of the 90-minute tilt. In the 18th minute, DeSales got in behind the York defense and starting goalkeeper Ethan Kavanagh raced out to cut off the potential opportunity. Sliding in an attempt to get the ball, he tripped up a Bulldog attacking player who had just touched the ball around to the right side. Unfortunately for the Spartans, because it was a goal-scoring opportunity the official deemed the offense worthy of a red card as Kavanagh left and the Green and White played with ten men for a remainder of the match.
Handy, seeing the first action of his career, put together a great performance for the Spartans. Stepping up in the spotlighted situation, the freshman goalkeeper posted four saves, including a nice high save over the bar, while cutting off several DeSales attempts throughout those 72 minutes.
One of York's best goal-scoring opportunities came prior to the red card as Cody Pearson, who had an outstanding contest, struck a tremendous service across the face of goal. Nearly finishing for the fourth time in four games, forward Taylor Brummitt almost put the chance away as the ball seemed only inches from his body as he raced in front of goal.
After the card and playing with only ten men, York continued to push the pace, registering 13 shots over the 72:40 span. The Spartans found themselves in dangerous attacking situations on several occasions but simply never broke through.
With the defeat, the Spartans fall to 7-3-5 all-time over their seven-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. During that 15-match span, the Green and White have played 14 different squads.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig currently stands at 199 win for his 13-year career at the helm of the program.
York now bids farewell to their four seniors as Kavanagh, Mike Gill, Trey Good, Eric Mackin, and Steven LeVine close out their Spartan careers. Since 2008, Good's first season with the squad, York has posted a 57-12-13 record for an outstanding .774 winning percentage. During that time, the Green and White captured three-straight CAC Championships and appeared in four NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2009.
PHOTO: Mike Gill dribbles the ball during York's NCAA Tournament match against DeSales on Saturday. Courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com