Fourth-Quarter Offensive Lifts Spartans Over Marymount

YORK, PA - A huge fourth quarter offensive burst pushed the York College men’s lacrosse team passed visiting Marymount University 16-14 Saturday afternoon at Kinsley Field. The Spartans scored six times over the final 10:16 to win the Capital Athletic Conference contest and boost their record to 3-4 (1-1 CAC) for the season, while the Saints fall to 4-5 (1-3 CAC).
      Down 13-10 with less than 10:30 to play, the Spartans began the offensive burst on a Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) tally with 10:16 remaining on the clock. McNicholas’ score, his 12th of the season, kick-started a spurt that resulted in five straight goals by the 7:40 mark of the fourth.
     A mere 25 seconds after the junior attack tallied his 12th, midfielder John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md./Archbishop Curley) brought the Spartans to within one at 13-12 with his fourth goal of 2009. The senior put on a spectacular individual performance, beating several Marymount defenders en route to the score.
      McNicholas struck again, this time with 7:57 to play, as he knotted-up the score at 13 with his 13th goal of the year. Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) gave the junior a quality feed to help bring the score back even.
      Following the ensuing face-off, senior defenseman Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) collected a loose ball along the left side of the field. The captain alertly found a wide open Ryan Schab (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) who was already deep into Saint territory along the right side. Schab then slammed home his eighth of the season, giving the Green and White their first lead since 5-4 at the 12:20 mark of the second period.
      Staying on the offensive, York notched their fifth in a row 1:02 later. Freshman standout B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) tallied his seventh of the season to give the Spartans’ a two-goal advantage at 15-13.
      Not going away, the Saints slashed that lead in half with 1:52 showing on the game clock as Tom Anderson brought Marymount to within one at 15-14.
      York however, would slam the door shut on any attempted Saint comeback as Blaker struck once again with 1:15 to play. The rookie’s eighth of the season gave the Green and White a comforting insurance goal as the Spartans were able to kill off the remaining time.
      During this torrid stretch in the fourth, senior defenseman Dan Wood (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) came up huge in face-off opportunities. Wood, who has seen little time in face-offs this season, bagged eight face-off wins with most of those coming in the fourth period. Wood’s triumphs in the face-off circle kept the Spartans on the offensive and did not give Marymount a chance to regain their earlier rhythm.
      The squads went into halftime knotted at 8-8, after York and Marymount traded five- and three-goal periods. The Saints grabbed a 9-8 lead early in the third on an Alex Curley goal with 12:45 to go in the frame. Curley’s score sparked a four-goal third quarter that pushed Marymount ahead 12-10.
      For the game, the Spartans grabbed a significant 48-31 advantage in shots, including 15-5 in the first period and 13-7 in the fourth. York won the majority of the face-offs 19-14, while the Saints took a slight lead in ground balls 32-30.
      McNicholas scored a total of four goals in the game, including two huge scores in the fourth, to bump his season total to 13. Five other Spartans scored twice in the contest as the Green and White spread out the scoring. Brian O’Neill (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) posted four points on two goals and two assists while Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton), who continues to hold the team-lead in points with 16, tallied a pair of scores. Aside from his face-off prowess, Wood also recorded team-highs in ground balls with seven and caused turnovers with two. Goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) secured his third win of the year, making nine saves over his 60 minutes.
      The Saints were paced offensively by Chris Wascak who tallied six points on five goals and one assist. Wascak now sports a team-leading 36 points on 23 goals and 13 helpers. Kevin Conklin added three scores to Marymount’s total while Danny Carson put up a pair of goals and a pair of assists. Joe Rafferty, Marymount’s main choice in face-offs, recorded all 15 of Marymount’s face-off wins while collecting a game-high nine ground balls. Saint net minder Ross Fernandez made 16 stops between the pipes throughout his 60 minutes of action.
      York returns to Kinsley Field on Tuesday, March 24, as they play host to CAC and national powerhouse Salisbury. The contest is slated for a 3:30 pm start.

GAME BOX

Photo of senior midfielder Brian O'Neill