March 24, 2009

#1 Salisbury Slips Past Spartans, 13-9

YORK, PA —The York College men’s lacrosse gave #1 Salisbury a scare Tuesday afternoon, but the nation’s top-ranked Division III team slipped by the Spartans and came away with the 13-9 win. The loss dropped the Green and White to 3-5 (1-2 CAC), while Salisbury defends their #1 national ranking and improves to 10-0 (4-0 CAC).
     The Spartans led the game at halftime, 5-4, and pulled within one goal of the Sea Gulls twice in the fourth period.
     Spartan sophomore goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) slowed down a potent Salisbury offense with 22 saves. The Sea Gulls fired 51 shots at Collins over the course of the contest but the sophomore net minder remained steady keeping the Spartans in the game.
     York’s aggressive defense and Collins’ tough play helped lead the Spartans to a first-half lead against a team that has outscored opponents 177-47 this season.
     The Green and White struck first when Josh Gamble (Easton. Md./Easton) scored just 44 seconds into the game. Gamble was assisted by freshman Bradford Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) for the sophomore’s 14th goal of 2009.
     Salisbury retaliated with two consecutive goals in the first period, but York’s Adam Cooper (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) drew the score even at the 6:19 mark. Gamble put the Spartans back on top of the nation’s #1 squad, when he scored his second of the game with 1:57 to go in the first.
In the second period, York opened up a 5-2 lead with goals by Blaker and Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston). Blaker’s tally was assisted by senior John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md. Archbishop Curley) while Gamble posted the helper on McNicholas’ score.
     Salisbury closed the gap going in to the half with two goals by freshman standout Matt Cannone, to bring the score to 5-4.
     The Sea Gulls came out firing in the second half, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to take a 9-5 lead.
     In the final quarter, the Spartans got a second wind and launched a comeback. The Green and White scored three consecutive goals to open the fourth. Junior Ryan Schab (Wet Islip, N.Y/West Islip) tallied first with a goal 54 seconds into the period. Schab was followed by Gamble, who added his third goal of the contest 50 seconds later. Junior Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) brought the Spartans to within one when he scored an unassisted goal with 11:53 left to play.
     Salisbury padded their lead with a Jake DeLillo goal at the 10:38 mark to take a two-goal advantage.
     Spartan freshman Nicholas Bach (Glen Burnie, Md./North County) countered DeLillo with his first goal of the season to bring York back within one at 10-9.
Salisbury would finish strong, however, and add three goals in the final 8:46 of the game to bring the score to 13-9.
     For the game, Salisbury outshot the Spartans 51-24. The Sea Gulls held the advantage in ground balls, picking up 45 to York’s 33. Salisbury also won the turnover battle, losing possession nine less times than the Spartans, 20-29. York showed their ability to move the ball up field as they successfully cleared 20 times in 29 attempts.
     Gamble paced the Spartan offensive effort with five points on three goals and two assists. The Green and White spread out their scoring as six players inked their name on the scoresheet. Collins’ effort between the pipes was simply outstanding. The sophomore’s poise and quickness in the cage thwarted numerous Sea Gulls attempts throughout his 60 minutes of work. Sophomore Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) picked up ten face-offs wins and nine ground balls while senior Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) also collected nine ground balls for the home squad.
     The Sea Gulls had a pair of players score four goals each in Cannone and Mike Winter. Cannone ups his season total to 35 in just his rookie campaign while Winter now has 32 on the year. Reigning CAC and National Player of the Year, Kylor Berkman posted a goal, an assist, and four ground balls. Ryan Finch, Salisbury’s main choice in face-offs, secured 12 wins in the circle and eight ground balls.
     The Spartans are back in action Saturday, March 28, in Maryland against St. Mary’s in a matchup of CAC teams. Game time is set for 1:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Chris Collins photo courtesy of Steve Doemland - www.stevedoemland.com

Game story written by Matt Volpe - York College Sports Information Student Intern