Nov. 21, 2009

Courtesy of Williams Athletics

YORK, Pa. –
The second-ranked York College Spartans (17-1-5) wasted no time in putting visiting #13 Williams College (16-2-2) in a 1-0 deficit as they struck for a goal just 4:05 into this today’s match played at York College.

York’s Justin Suchoski made a run into the box and slipped a pass to Jon Ports who beat Eph keeper Andrew Graham to put host York on top 1-0.

“The first 20-25 minutes they really came after us,” noted Eph head coach Mike Russo.  “They really had us under the gun, but then I think they may have relaxed a little thinking this might be easy for them. But we held our own and got them out of their rhythm a that helped us.”

Gradually the Ephs began to settle down and gain and establish an offensive flow, but it took nearly 40 minutes for Williams to net the equalizer. Sophomore midfielder Angus Kennedy found first year midfielder Patrick Ebobisse on the left side and Ebobisse ripped a left footed shot from 30 yards out past the Spartans’ Ryan Hock into the upper left corner at 42:18 to tie the game at one.

The assist by Kennedy was his first of the year and the goal by Ebobisse was his first collegiate goal.

The score remained tied through the first half. York held a 5-3 advantage in shots.

The Ephs were on the offensive to start the second half, but York was up to the challenge and the game developed into a battle of two evenly matched teams making runs at the goal.

“Our first years, Ebobisse, Finan and Ratajczak really stepped up today and our back four did yeomen’s work, and the midfield was good,” Russo said.” “It took the strikers until the second half to get going forward.”

Through regulation the Spartans held a 10-7 margin in shots. In the two overtime sessions both teams totaled five shots on goal.

“Andrew Graham made a great save with about one minute left in the second overtime to keep the game tied,” noted Russo.

When the penalty kick shootout arrived so did first year netminder Than Finan for the Ephs.

York converted on the first four of their PK opportunities, but the Ephs only connected on three of the first four shots, setting up the opportunity for the Spartans’ Lucas Emil to seal the result. Emil missed and Colin Ainsworth scored for Williams to push the shootout into sudden victory.

York’s Jon Ports took the Spartans’ eighth PK and Finan, setting the stage for the Ephs first year defender Matt Ratajczak to be the hero, stopped him. “Matt was the picture of composure as he approached the PK,” commented Russo. Ratajczak’s shot was true and the Ephs were through to the Elite Eight.

The Ephs will face Christopher Newport University (19-2-2) tomorrow at 1:00 PM at York College for the right to advance to the Final Four in San Antonio. Christopher Newport and Stevens Institute played to a scoreless tie, but Christopher Newport advanced with a 4-3 PK shootout win.

“We’re happy to be here and we know we beat a good team today, but Christopher Newport is another very good team, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” said Russo.