Springfield held off Plymouth Whitemarsh for more than 70 minutes, but the pressure from the Colonials attack led to two late goals and the 2-0 win for the visitors Thursday afternoon.Oliver Palmaraies broke the deadlock with nine minutes left in the match when he found himself the recipient of a favorable rebound. Taij Rosen laid off a soft pass for Kenny Almack to hit with his left foot, and the shot proved to be too much for Springfield keeper, Kevin Sykes, to handle safely. Palmaraies found the ball at his feet, right in front of goal, and buried the shot to give Plymouth Whitemarsh the lead.
Six minutes later, the Colonials doubled their tally when Austin Betterly made something out of nothing. Betterly found some space over on the left wing to cut inside on a defender, carried the ball to the top of the box, and floated a perfectly-weighted chip over Sykes' head.
The two goals were a result of solid pressure on the ball from midfield and a resilient attack from Plymouth Whitemarsh. The Colonials kept their composure after a first half, in which, they controlled possession and dominated the shot count 8-1, but failed to find the back of the net. Plymouth Whitemarsh coach, Devin Landgraff, did not feel the need to make any adjustments to the way his team were playing going into the second half and the result paid off for the Colonials.
"We felt like we were playing well,' Plymouth Whitemarsh head Coach, Devin Landgraff, said. "We stayed relaxed because we felt like what we were doing was working.'
The second half proved to be far less dominant for the Colonials early on, as the Spartans started to take their share of possession of the ball. The intensity and physicality also reached its peak in the early part of the second half. However, the physical nature of the match proved to be to the detriment of the Spartans, as they found themselves out of healthy substitutes in the final minutes.
"I think we settled down a little bit and played better in the second half,' Springfield head coach, Kevin Grummun, said. "But at the end, we had four guys on the bench and they were all injured. We were out of subs and are legs kind of lost it. All credit to Plymouth Whitemarsh, though, they scored two nice goals.'
Sophomore Kevin Sykes made 11 saves for the match, as he was kept busy in front of the Springfield goal. In the first half, it was Taij Rosen who proved to be the primary pest for the Spartans defenders to deal with, as he utilized his pace to create numerous opportunities for the Colonials. However, Springfield dealt with the pressure well despite losing both their starting left back, Peter McBride, and later, his replacement Zachary Hanley in the second half, both due to leg injuries.
In the second half, the Colonials attack was a little more spread out, as Alex Bilodeau, Austin Betterly, and Dominic Wlodraczyk all had multiple attempts on goal. Goalkeeper, Brett Paul, finished with two saves and kept a clean sheet for the visitors.
Plymouth Whitemarsh is off to an excellent start to its season, as the result puts them at 7-1-1 overall and 6-1 in league play. Landgraff and his team hope to build on this momentum going forward.
"These guys have a goal of reaching the postseason and I think they have a good shot,' Landgraff said. "The key for us will be to stay consistent through league play.'