Wolverines Down Spartans in Physical CAC Contest

YORK, PA – The York College men’s lacrosse team dropped their third contest of the year on Saturday, losing 10-5 to visiting Capital Athletic Conference foe Wesley. The Spartans fall to 2-3 for the year and 0-1 in league play while the Wolverines win their fifth straight and improve to a solid 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the CAC.
     In a physical match that saw a combined 24 penalties for 19:00, it was Wesley goalkeeper Jim McCleaft who proved the star for the Wolverines. The senior notched an astounding 21 saves as the Spartans continually peppered him throughout the contest’s 60 minutes.
     The Green and White unleashed 47 shots, outpacing their guests by 16 attempts, but were turned away time and again by McCleaft.
     Following a first period that saw the Wolverines take a 3-1 advantage, the home squad returned the favor with a 3-1 stanza of their own over the second 15 minutes of action. Ryan Schab (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) brought the Spartans back to within a goal at 3-2 with 8:00 minutes to go in the second period. Senior midfielder John Gaeta (Bel Air, Md./Archbishop Curley) backed up Schab’s fifth tally of the season 32 seconds later as he knotted the score at three apiece.
     After Wesley’s Justin D’Alonzo gave his squad the lead once again at 4-3 with just two minutes remaining in the frame, York’s Patrick Coppinger (Jessup, Md./Hammond) deadlocked the score at 4-4. With merely eight ticks left in the half, Brian O’Neill (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) found Coppinger on the left side who then promptly tallied his second of the day and fourth of the season.
     Wesley regained the lead quickly in the second half as they again would best the Spartans 3-1 in the frame. Wolverine junior Nick Pisacano put his squad out front at the 10:06 mark of the third.
     York answered Pisacano 3:47 later, with a Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) tally, the junior’s sixth of the season, off of an assist from Coppinger.
     The tie would not last long however, as Wesley notched their seventh of the day a mere 12 seconds later. After the Wolverines won the face-off, D’Alonzo found Brad Smith, Wesley’s leading goal-scorer in 2009, who immediately gave his squad the 6-5 lead.
     Smith’s score ignited a 5-0 Wesley run over the game’s final 21:07, a time frame which saw play become extremely physical. The majority of the game’s penalties occurred during the Wolverines’ 5-0 spurt, as 15 of the 24 violations came over the final 21 minutes of play.
     For the game, the Spartans bested the Wolverines in nearly every statistical category. Aside from York’s 47 shot performance, the Spartans collected 32 ground balls to Wesley’s 22, won 10-of-18 face-offs, and were successful in 23 of their 24 clear attempts. Unfortunately for the home squad, McCleaft played a brilliant match and shut-down the Spartans’ potent offensive unit.
     Dan Skeels posted a hat trick for the Wolverines to pace the visitors’ offense. D’Alonzo, Pisacano, and Smith each scored twice. Senior defenseman Kirk Waldie collected a team-high five ground balls while Shane Lynch secured four.
     Coppinger led the Green and White with three points on the day, courtesy of two goals and one assist. B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) and James Greenwood (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) each picked up five ground balls for the Spartan side, while senior All-CAC defenseman Steve Mersinger (Westminster, Md./Westminster) caused a game-high four turnovers. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) is saddled with the loss despite making nine saves over his 60 minutes.
     The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, March 18, as they travel to Carlisle, Pa. to take on Dickinson. The non-conference action is set to begin at 3:30 pm.


Photo of senior midfielder John Gaeta