ST. MARY’S CITY, MD – For the first
time in program history, the York College men's lacrosse team
bested St. Mary's Saturday afternoon by a 7-5 score. Josh
Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) tallied twice to pace the
Spartans (4-5, 2-2 CAC) whose quality defensive effort held the
Seahawks (3-5, 1-2 CAC) scoreless during the second and third
St. Mary’s struck first as Chris Morihlatko put the home squad on the board 3:24 into the game. The hosts went up by two toward the end of the first frame as Dennis Rosson finished off a Billey Sheurer feed with 2:28 showing on the clock.
Those two scores proved the only goals the Spartans would surrender until the fourth quarter.
The second quarter belonged to York as the Green and White posted three unanswered goals. Senior midfielder John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md./Archbishop Curley) kicked off the spurt with his fifth of the season at the 8:48 mark of the second. Nicholas Bach (Glen Burnie, Md./North County), who tallied the first goal of his collegiate career against Salisbury, put up his second of year just 1:27 after Gaeta to knot the score at two.
The Spartans took the lead four minutes later on Gamble's 17th of 2009. Gamble put the York side up 3-2 with 3:15 remaining in the period, a score that would hold through halftime.
The third period would prove quite dry as both defenses stiffened. The only score of the period came from the crosse of York freshman B.J. Blaker (West Cheter, Pa./Henderson). Blaker’s tenth goal of the season came from a Brian O’Neill (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) assist and gave the Spartans a two-goal cushion, 4-2.
The fourth quarter was a stark contrast to the third as the final 15 minutes brought a bevy of goals. Both squads combined to total six scores in the period including three straight from the Spartans.
As with the first period, Morihlatko opened up the fourth quarter scoring. Morihlatko’s sixth of the season, this one coming at the 10:51 mark, cut the Spartan lead to 4-3.
York quickly responded with three consecutive scores, the first coming a mere 36 seconds after Morihlatko’s second. Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and Ryan Schab (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) combined on the tally to regain York’s two-goal margin. Schab’s tenth goal of the year gave York a 5-3 advantage.
McNicholas recorded his second helper of the game in back-to-back fashion with 8:25 left in the game. Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) put away McNicholas’ pass as the York lead stood at 6-3. Gamble stretched that margin to four with his second of the day with just 3:37 showing on the fourth quarter clock. Sophomore Adam Cooper (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) registered the Spartans’ third assist of the frame with his helper to Gamble.
The Seahawks made a furious push late in the game as Rosson cut York’s lead to three just 23 seconds after Gamble’s tally. With 2:10 remaining, Chris Becraft cut deeper into that lead, leaving the score at 7-5 Spartans. Becraft’s score proved to be the final of the game as the Spartans were able to successfully close out the remaining two minutes.
St. Mary’s grabbed a 32-24 advantage in shots while York secured a 34-26 margin in ground balls. The Spartans also won a majority of the face-offs, taking 9-of-16. York was exceptionally efficient on extra-man opportunities as they scored on two of their three chances.
Defenseman James Greenwood (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) led the way for the Spartans in ground balls with eight while fellow defenseman Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) added four. Zach Scherr (Resiterstown, Md./Franklin), York’s main choice in face-offs, won 8-of-13 attempts in the circle. Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) picks up the win between the pipes as he posted another outstanding game with 13 saves. Freshman Rob Kreider (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) spelled Collins during a brief 1:02 span in the first period and was not forced to make any stops.
Colin Gload and Ryan Alexander each collected four ground balls for the Seahawks while defenseman AJ Armstrong caused three turnovers. Goalkeeper Pat Simpson made five saves over his 60 minutes.
The Spartans return to action on Monday, March 30, with their fourth consecutive CAC contest. The Green and White will travel to Frederick, Md. for a 4:00 pm date with the Hood College Blazers.
Josh Gamble photo courtesy of Scott Guise