Twice as Nice, Saberton Downs the Ducks as York Advances

Twice as Nice, Saberton Downs the Ducks as York Advances

HOBOKEN, N.J. – Sophomore All-CAC forward Brendan Saberton (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) found the back of the net just 33 seconds into overtime to lift the York College Spartans to a 2-1 win over Stevens in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament on Sunday night in Hoboken, NJ.

The Spartans advance to their second straight Sweet 16 as they will face Rutgers-Camden next weekend. York improves to 19-2-1 while Stevens sees its stellar campaign come to a close at 17-2-1.

Saberton was the offense for the Spartans on Sunday evening. The sophomore scored both goals for the York as he now has a team-leading nine tallies for the year.

The Ducks got on the board first as Stephen Dunbar struck for a goal in the 18th minute of the game. Curtis Stecyk fed Dunbar who came down the left side and beat Spartan netminder Brad Schmidt (Moorestown, N.J./Delran) with a lofted shot from 20 yards out.

The Spartans had their chances in the first half as both teams squeezed off six shots while the Green and White also had five corner kicks.

York turned up the pressure on the Ducks in the second half. The Spartans pressed into the Stevens defensive zone as they needed to get an equalizer to extend the season. Senior Austin Johnson (Avalon, NJ/Middle Township) had a golden opportunity in the 61st minute but his shot sailed just high as the Ducks held onto the one goal lead.

The Spartan pressure finally paid off in the 76th minute when Johnson pinged a short cross to the middle of the box where Saberton one-timed a shot past Stevens goalie Paul Killian. Johson did a great job of creating the opportunity for Saberton for the tying goal.

The Spartans got four more shots before the end of regulation but couldn't find the back of the net as they headed to overtime for the second straight game.

Saberton's heroics were set up by senior Tobi Iguade (Bowie, Md./DeMatha Catholic) who set up Saberton with a pass from the right across the goalmouth. Saberton took the pass and drilled it inside the left post for the game-winner.

"The thing that I am most proud of is how we played together and stayed as a family," said Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig. "We stayed with the game plan. We stayed the course when we got the tying goal and then again with the winning goal."

The Spartans finished the game with a 17-10 margin in shots and a 4-3 margin in shots on goal.

Schmidt earned his 18th win of the year as he registered two saves for the win. Killian suffered the tough luck loss as he made two saves for the Ducks.

Ludwig feels like his squad played well all weekend.

"We created a bunch of very good chances during the weekend," said Ludwig. "It's really a shame that two top-10 teams had to meet so early in the tournament. Stevens is a really good team and winning at their place is a credit to our kids and their belief in what we are doing."

The Sweet 16 appearance for York is the fifth in school history. The Green and White's previous appearances came in 2012, 2009, 2007, and 2006.

The Sweet 16 game against Rutgers-Camden will be a rematch of a second round game in last year's tournament. The squads finished in a 0-0 tie with the Green and White advancing on penalty kicks. The site for the match will be announced by the NCAA on Monday morning.

Brendan Saberton photo courtesy of David Sinclair