Salisbury prevails over York in penalty kicks to advance to CAC semifinals

Salisbury prevails over York in penalty kicks to advance to CAC semifinals

YORK, Pa.Trevor Brookhart came up huge in net and with his foot, sinking the go ahead penalty kick before making the match winning save to lift the Salisbury University men's soccer team to a first round Capital Athletic Conference playoff win over York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

York (7-8-3) capitalized on its first opportunity of the match just 3:03 in as Danny Morgan sent a through-ball to Nathan Bilbie, who gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead on a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Salisbury (8-8-3) nearly tied the match a minute later as the ball found Dolph Hegewisch in front of the goal, but a defensive save by a York defender kept the Sea Gulls off the scoreboard. The maroon and gold had another chance in the 31st minute, but Nick Njuki's shot from 25 yards out bounced off the crossbar.

The Spartans outshot the Sea Gulls 9-4 in the first half, while Salisbury held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.

The first opportunity for either team in the second half came in the 58th minute as Zion Friday had a breakaway for York, but Brookhart cut off Friday's angle to make the save and keep it a one goal game. The Sea Gulls quickly countered and were awarded a penalty kick after York committed a foul in the box. Nick Carrington stayed perfect from the penalty spot, converting his fourth penalty kick of the year with a shot to the bottom left corner to tie the match 1-1 in the 59th minute.

Senior Brooks Zentgraf was on the receiving and distributing end of two quality chances late in the second half, although the Sea Gulls were unable to come away with a goal. The first came on a nice cross to Hegewisch in front of the net, but Hegewisch's header sailed just high. The next came on a shot from just inside the 18, but York keeper Billy Bridegum got a hand on the ball to direct it out of bounds.

Just as the match between the two teams did in the regular season, the teams went to overtime tied 1-1. York held an 8-7 advantage in shots in the second half, while each team took three corner kicks.

York controlled the first overtime period, taking all five shots and the only two corner kicks. However, the Spartans were unable to convert and Brookhart made two saves to send the match to a second overtime period. Neither team could get much going on the offensive end in the second overtime period, with Salisbury taking the lone shot and corner kick, sending the match to penalty kicks to decide the winner.

Carrington was first up in penalty kicks for the Sea Gulls, who calmly converted. Brookhart made a diving save on York's first attempt to put Salisbury ahead after the first round. After Hegewisch hit the crossbar, York was able to tie it up 1-1 after two rounds. Michael Kramer stepped up and buried a shot for Salisbury, while York did the same to keep it tied after three. The fourth round saw Alex Eiben hit the post and a miss from York, keeping the penalty kicks tied 2-2 after four rounds. Both teams would go on to make five straight, with Njuki, Joseph Scarpinato, Stephen White, Alton Walker, and Zentgraf all converting for Salisbury. The 10th round was all Brookhart, as he converted on his penalty kick and saved the ensuing York attempt to advance the Sea Gulls to the semifinals. Brookhart made 10 saves in the match for the maroon and gold.

Salisbury advances to the CAC semifinals to face first-seeded Christopher Newport University on Wednesday, November 1st at 5 p.m.

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