Spartans Find Win Column in Home Opener

YORK, PA – The York College men’s lacrosse team used a nine-goal effort Wednesday afternoon to down visiting Messiah by a 9-5 count, in the Spartans' first home contest of 2009. The victory improves the Spartans’ record to 2-2 while the Falcons drop to 2-2.
     After a 2-2 first period, the Green and White captured the lead for good courtesy of a second period B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) tally. Blaker’s fifth score of the year, this one off of a Ryan Schab (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) assist, gave the Spartans a 3-2 advantage just 1:07 into the second frame.
      Neither side would find the back of the net over the next ten minutes as both defenses stood taut. York’s Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) was finally able to break through with only 3:44 to play in the half, bumping the Spartans’ lead to two at 4-2.
      Before the end of the half, Messiah’s James Baden answered for the visitors with only 24 seconds remaining to cut the Spartan lead to 4-3.
      Following the halftime break, the Spartans put up the third’s first two scores to take a 6-3 lead. Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton), who had assisted on Coppinger’s score, wasted little time to notch his seventh of the year, taking a mere 33 seconds to add his name to the scorebook. Schab then backed up Gamble’s efforts with York’s second of the frame, tallying at the 11:51 mark.
      With 5:28 showing on the period’s clock, the Falcons’ Baden once again cut into York’s lead, this time by way of an assist. Pete Owens finished off Baden’s pass and left the score at 6-4 Spartans.
      The two-goal margin quickly turned back to three, at 7-4) as York’s Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) popped-in his fifth of the year with 2:07 remaining in the period.
      Just as he did in the third, Gamble once again kicked-off the quarter’s scoring efforts 1:13 into the fourth. Coppinger returned Gamble’s earlier favor as he was credited with the assist.
Up 8-4, the Spartans would only surrender one more score to the Falcons, a Brent Stewart tally with 7:05 to play. Mike LaRoque (Arnold, Md./DeMatha) stamped the victory for the Spartans with the Green and White’s ninth and final goal with 6:20 showing on the game clock.
      The Spartans commanded the offensive end, ripping off 51 shots to Messiah’s 25. York also grabbed the advantage in ground balls 34-25. The Spartan defense performed exceptionally well in man-down situations, keeping the Falcons to a 2-for-10 performance. Messiah did secure most of the face-offs, taking 12-of-18.
      Gamble and Schab each tallied three points on two goal and one assist while LaRoque added two scores. Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) and Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) each picked up six ground balls to pace the Green and White. Dan Wood (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton) caused a game-high five turnovers while John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md./Archbishop Curley) posted four. Goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) picks up his second win of the year with a 60-minute, five-save performance.
      The Falcons spread out their scoring efforts as five players each tallied once. Baden, who was one of the five scorers, also notched a pair of helpers. J.J. Miller was solid in face-off situations for the Falcons, winning 9-of-13 opportunities. Greg Latimer takes the loss in the Messiah net despite making 19 saves over 60 minutes of work.
      York returns to action on Saturday as the Green and White are set to host Wesley at 4:00 pm. The Capital Athletic Conference tilt is slated for 3:00 pm.


Photo of midfielder Ryan Schab