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Youngsters Lead Spartans on Senior Day
YORK, PA – A trio of fourth quarter
scores led the York College men’s lacrosse team to a 10-9
Senior Day victory over Catholic in the Spartans 2009 season
finale. The Green and White finish the year with an 8-7 record
while the Cardinals fall to 7-8.
Catholic owned a 9-7 lead heading into the fourth frame before York went on a 3-0 run. Freshman sensation Bradford Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) opened the scoring in the season’s final stanza with his third of the game as 11:33 showed on the clock.
Blaker then drew the score even at 9-9 as he tallied again at the 7:55 mark off of Josh Gamble’s (Easton, Md./Easton) team-leading 17th assist of the season.
Less than two minutes later junior Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) registered what would prove to be the game-winning goal. With 6:14 showing on the clock Adam Cooper (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) found Coppinger who promptly notched his 13th goal of 2009.
The Spartans responded defensively over the game’s final six minutes. In a furious attempt to tie the score, the Cardinals rattled off eight shots over that time but could only manage two attempts on-goal.
With 2:03 remaining in the game, Jimmy Sinnott ripped a low-shot aiming for the five-hole of Spartan goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminter). The sophomore netminder proved up to the task however, as he kept the Spartans in the lead.
Collins was challenged once again in a last-second Cardinal effort to deadlock the score. Facing a man-down situation with eleven seconds to go, the Spartans went into penalty-kill mode. Catholic moved the ball quickly around York’s bunkered defense and found a wide-open Sinnott who was by himself along the right side of the goal. The Cardinal junior attempted almost the exact same shot he did just two minutes ago and came up with the same result. Collins stoned Sinnott at point-blank range to secure the Spartan victory.
After a 6-6 first half, in which each squad scored three times in the first and second quarters, Catholic rolled out a 3-1 third period to capture the two-goal advantage heading into the fourth.
For the game, the Spartans held a slight 43-38 edge in shots while York grabbed a significant 47-31 lead in ground balls. The Green and White were also dominant in face-offs, winning 15-of-22.
Blaker led the Spartans offensively as he notched four goals and one assist. The freshman’s four scores ups his season total to 26, the third-best on the squad this season. Coppinger and Brian O’Neill (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) each added two scores while Gamble and Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) tallied once for the Spartans. Gamble and McNicholas finish the year tied for the team-lead in goals with 30 as Gamble captured the team-high in assists with 17.
Short-stick specialist Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) was masterful in face offs throughout the game. The Spartan junior won 12-of-16 face offs and collected a game-high nine ground balls. Senior defenseman Dan Wood (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) picked up eight ground balls while he and fellow senior defenseman Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) each caused three turnovers.
In a season full of quality performances, Collins posted yet another strong outing. The sophomore goalkeeper made 16 saves against the Cardinals as he finishes the season with a .529 save percentage.
Chris Fuccillo led the Cardinal offense by posting three goals on the day while he also collected a team-high four ground balls. Kyle Brant and Mark Saxton each scored twice while Jimmy Bitonti registered two assists. Goalkeeper Sean McKenna also made 16 saves for the Cardinals over his 60 minutes of work.
The exhilarating non-conference victory closes out the Spartans 2009 campaign as York bids farewell to their eight Spartan seniors. Jeff Bell (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright), John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md./Archbishop Curley), Mike LaRoque (Arnold Md./DeMatha), Gavin Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin), Ryan Schab (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip), O’Neill, Mersinger, and Wood leave the Spartans as the best four-year class in program history. Over the past four seasons York has accumulated a record of 34-27 for a program-best .557 winning percentage.
Bradford Blaker photo courtesy of Steve Doemland (www.stevedoemland.com)