YORK, PA – On a gray and soggy Saturday afternoon, the York College field hockey team fell by a close 2-1 margin to visiting Capital Athletic Conference foe Mary Washington. The Spartans (1-3, 1-1 CAC) played well throughout the 70 minutes of action but came up just short against the now 3-1 (1-0 CAC) Eagles.
Mary Washington opened the scoring in the 20th minute after a Florence George penalty corner. George played the corner to the far right side where Jaci Marshall knocked a service toward the Spartan cage. Following a brief melee in front of goal, MacKenzie Sloan found the back of the cage to tally the match’s first score, her second of 2009.
Nearly 12 minutes later, the Spartans answered on the heels of a beautiful combination. Freshman forward Sandee Reich (Pitman, N.J./Glassboro) secured the ball down on the left side of the Eagle goal where she connected with Megan Spangler (Myerstown, Pa./Eastern Lebanon County). The senior captain struck a brilliant cross that found the stick of Katie Dawkins (Easton, Md./Easton) on the far side where she wasted no time in notching the score, tying the match at one.
As the squads broke for half, the Green and White held a slight 5-4 edge in shots as well as a 5-2 advantage in penalty corners.
The second stanza proved to be a back and forth affair as neither side gained the majority of the play.
Mary Washington did break through however, in the game’s 56th minute on Kaitlyn Ripley’s first goal of the season. The sophomore midfielder collected the ball on the right side of the cage, five yards from the endline, before unleashing a strike that flew into the far left side of the Spartan cage. Ripley’s tally would prove to be the game-winner.
The Spartans had several opportunities to answer once again as the game came to a close. York totaled three shots and three penalty corners in the waning minutes but where unable to push the match into overtime.
For the game, the Green and White held a 10-9 lead in shots while owning an 11-5 margin in penalty corners.
The Spartan defense held exceptionally well throughout the contest, turning away attack after attack. Led by defender Colleen O’Rourke (Milford, N.J./Delware Valley), the Spartan backline continually thwarted the Eagles during the 70 minutes of play.
All-CAC goalkeeper Claire Rekitzke (Seaford, Del./Seaford Senior) kept the Spartans in the match for the entire 70 minutes. Rekitzke notched five saves while clearing away numerous dangerous chances. Mary Washington’s Chrissy Bowdren secures her third win of the year behind a four-save performance.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Susquehanna University for a 4:30 pm non-conference tilt with the Crusaders.
Megan Spangler photo courtesy of Steve Doemland (www.stevedoemland.com)