Spartans Upend Hood; Squads Combine for 34 Goals

FREDERICK, MDRyan McNicholas’ (Fallston, Md./Fallston) six goals and three assists led an offensive barrage Monday afternoon as the York College men’s lacrosse team bested Capital Athletic Conference foe Hood College 23-11. The victory improves the Spartans’ 2009 record to an even 5-5 (3-2 CAC) while the Blazers drop to 1-10 (0-5 CAC).
      The Spartans exploded for their highest scoring total of the season as eleven different players found the back of the net. McNicholas posted his game-high six tallies all within the contest’s first half. The junior attack scored the game’s first goal 5:15 into the first frame and then tallied for a second time with 2:57 to play in the opening stanza. McNicholas then unleashed four goals in a second quarter that saw the Spartans score eleven times over an 11:33 span.
      Six different Spartans found paydirt during that stretch. Aside from McNicholas’ four goals in the second, freshman B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) scored three times as eight of York’s eleven second quarter tallies came off of assists. The offensive outburst provided the Green and White a comfortable 14-2 margin heading into halftime.
      At the break, the Spartans held a huge 36-7 bulge in shots as they continually pressured Hood’s defensive unit through the opening 30 minutes.
     The Blazers found a bit of life coming out of the break as they notched five straight goals to cut the York margin to 14-7.
      The Spartans then responded with back-to-back scores from Blaker with 2:58 and 2:44 remaining on the third period clock.
      After another Hood score, York added two more to their total courtesy of Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) and Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton).
      Up by a significant 18-9 margin, the Spartans would tally five more times, and the Blazers’ three, to finish with the 23-11 result.
      For the game, the Green and White held a commanding 56-23 lead in shots and a 75-34 advantage in ground balls. The Spartans also won a majority of the face-offs (21-of-36) and forced Hood into 32 turnovers.
      McNicholas’ six ups his season total to 20, York’s highest mark of 2009. Blaker tallied five times as he now stands third on the scoring list with 15 on the year. Coppinger’s trio of scores moves him up to ten goals this season as he is the fifth Spartan to break the double-digit plateau. Gamble was responsible for five points with one goal and a career-high four helpers as he now leads the Green and White with 28 points on 19 goals and nine assists.
      Defensively for the Spartans, Dan Wood (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) collected a game-high 14 ground balls while Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) scooped up 13. Scherr was also dominant in face-offs, winning 18 of his 27 opportunities. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster), the reigning CAC men’s lacrosse Athlete of the Week, posted a pair of saves over his 33:17 of work as he only allowed three Blazer goals. Devin O’Neill (Downingtown, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) relieved Collins and made one save over his 11:43 of work. Rob Kreider (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) entered in the fourth quarter playing 3:13 before he was relieved by Mike Karwoski (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) who played the final 11:47 recording two saves.
      Troy Hubbard paced the Blazers’ offensive effort as he scored four times and added an assist. In addition to his five points, the midfielder secured a team-high eleven ground balls. Kris Miner notched a hat trick of his own with three scores on eight shots. Nicholas O’Brien manned the pipes for each of the 60 minutes as he made 13 saves.
      Playing their past two games on the road, the Spartans return home on Wednesday to play host to CAC foe #1 Stevenson. The Mustangs just replaced Salisbury as the top-ranked squad in the country according to the most recent poll published by the USILA. The conference clash is slated for a 3:30 pm start at York’s Kinsley Field.


Dan Wood collected a game-high 14 ground balls against the Blazers