LANCASTER, PA – The York College field hockey team pulled off the biggest win in school history as the Spartans upended #4 Franklin & Marshall 2-1 in non-conference action on Tuesday night in Lancaster.
It is the highest ranked opponent the Spartans have ever beaten in program history. The previous high was a pair of wins over ninth ranked squads. The Spartans beat #9 Susquehanna 4-2 on October 23, 1999 and ninth-ranked Lynchburg 2-1 on October 15, 2002.
The Spartans improve to 4-2 overall while the Diplomats suffer their first setback of the campaign as they fall to 4-1. The Diplomats entered the match having beaten a pair of ranked teams already in 2015. They downed #20 Rowan 5-4 on September 5 and then defeated #14 Mary Washington 2-0 last Saturday.
The Spartans wasted little time getting on the board as the sophomore tandem of Ali Posey (Airville, Pa./Red Lion) and Autumn Mallory (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) combined to put the Spartans up 1-0 seven minutes into the game. Posey drove into the top of the circle unleashed a shot that Mallory tipped into the back of the cage for the game's opening salvo.
Mallory struck again at the 24:43 mark, just over a minute after subbing back into the game. Posey drove down the wing and fed a pass back to the middle and Mallory collected the pass and put the ball in the back of the cage for the 2-0 lead. The two goals were Mallory's second and third of the year while the two assists per Posey's first of the season.
The Spartans made the most of their opportunities in the first half as they were outshot 10-3 while the Diplomats had five penalty corners in the opening 35 minutes. Freshman Eve Hauptle (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) had four first half saves for York.
The Diplomats came out an inspired squad in the second half as they scored less than five minutes into the second half. Anne Horsley drove down the left wing and sent a cross to the middle. Mary Kate Meedzan collected the cross and drove home a shot to cut the Spartan lead to 2-1.
The Diplomat offensive onslaught would continue but the Spartan defense wouldn't bend in picking up the victory. F&M pulled their goalie with 5:53 left in regulation. That attacking advantage would only last just over a minute as Horsley got a green card, taking the Diplomats back down to 10 field players.
F&M earned their tenth corner of the game with 12 seconds left in regulation but Hauptle stood tall and turned away a Maria Guarisco shot to preserve the win.
Spartan head coach Carly Zinn said the win was a result of great play from her York squad.
"I am extremely proud of every player on this team," said Zinn. "They have challenged themselves mentally and physically, especially at practice. We have worked at playing faster and we did a great job of that tonight. Today's win was a total team effort that fully displays all the work we have put in on developing ourselves both individually and as a team."
The Spartans were outshot 20-5 in the game including 7-3 in shots on goal. The Diplomats also held a 10-3 margin in penalty corners.
Hauptle earned the win as she notched five saves in her 70 minutes of work. Freshman Jennifer Morrisette (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) was credited with a defensive save on a Diplomat shot late in the first half, extending her team-leading defensive save total to five.
Ashley Gubernick started and took the loss for the Diplomats as she allowed two goals in just 24:44 of action before getting pulled in favor of Iliana Santangelo. Santangelo did not allow a goal and made one save in her time in net for the Diplomats.
The Spartan head back out on the road next Wednesday when they travel to McDaniel College to face their third Centennial Conference opponent of the year in the Green Terror. The match is slated for a 4:00 pm start in Westminster.