SALISBURY, MD – The York College men's soccer team capped another stirring Capital Athletic Conference Tournament with a 1-0 victory at Salisbury University in the 2013 championship match on Saturday in Salisbury.
The championship is the Spartans' fifth straight and is their eighth since 1998. It is the fifth time the Spartans have bested Salisbury in a CAC Championship match in their eight championship game meetings.
The Spartans got the only goal they would need in the 11th minute when senior Chris Weaver (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) hit a cross from outside the 18. The pass found the head of fellow senior Jake Hower (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) who drilled the ball inside the post for his seventh goal of the year. Six of Hower's seven goals have been game-winners for the Green and White.
The Spartans had a number of opportunities in the second half to add to the lead but wouldn't be able to convert any of those chances. The Green and White really had the better of the play as they outshot the Sea Gulls 19-9 for the game including 7-2 in shots on goal. In both games at Salisbury this season, the Spartans have fired off 19 shots.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig was thrilled with the performance of his championship squad.
"I thought we played with tremendous heart, passion and fight today," said Ludwig. "We got an early goal and stuck to our game plan. We wanted to continue to attack and press, which we were able to do."
Junior Brad Schmidt (Moorestown, N.J./Delran) earned his eighth shutout of the season as he was only forced to make two saves, including one late on a header on a corner kick. Schmidt improves to 16-2-1 for the season. Drew Staedeli kept the Gulls in the game as he registered six saves. All of Staedeli's saves came in the second half.
Ludwig believes his team played with great focus to achieve the Spartans' fifth straight title.
"I thought we did a fantastic job of keeping our concentration and focus today," said the Spartan mentor. "We knew what we wanted to attain and were able to capture the championship and make another NCAA Tournament. I am really proud of this team."
The Spartans' fifth straight championship is two short of tying Mary Washington for the conference record for consecutive men's soccer titles. The Eagles won the first seven CAC championships from 1991-1997. It was the 1998 Spartan squad who stopped the Eagles championship run. York is now 7-3-1 in CAC Championship games with the eight titles.
The Spartans are now 17-2-1 overall while Salisbury is 17-3.
The championship allows the Spartans to advance to their ninth straight NCAA Tournament. The Green and White will find out Monday afternoon who and where they will be playing in the tournament. The announcement is slated for 1:00 pm Monday on NCAA.com.
Photo courtesy of Joey Gardner and Salisbury Sport Information