GRANTHAM, PA – The York College men’s lacrosse team battled the elements and the Messiah College Falcons on Saturday and the Green and White emerged victorious as the Spartans notched a 16-10 non-conference win in the wet and blustery conditions in Grantham, Pa. The Spartans, who snap a two-game losing skid, improve to 2-4 while the Falcons fall to 0-3.
The Spartans jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. Junior Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) tallied two goals as his two scores sandwiched a B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) giving York the early lead. The Falcons scored three of the final four goals of the quarter as the Spartans led 4-3 after one.
York seized control of the game in the second quarter as the Green and White ripped off four goals to take an 8-3 lead with 3:11 left before the half. Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston), Gamble, Jamie Low (Monrovia, Md./Urbana), and Blaker scored in the period as the Spartans picked up their four goals on just nine shots. Messiah scored at the 2:37 mark as the guests took an 8-4 lead to the break.
The Spartans opened the third quarter by scoring four of the first five goals of the second half as the lead grew to 12-5 with 6:27 left in the third. Adam Cooper (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) and Kevin Topper (Marriottsville, Md./Liberty) each had man advantage goals in the period. Messiah scored the next three goals covering the final minutes of the third quarter and open moments of the fourth as the Falcons trimmed the York lead to four at 12-8. The Spartans put the game away with four of the next five goals, increasing the lead to 16-9 with 4:59 left. Cooper and Gamble each scored man advantage goals for York to close out the Spartan scoring. Messiah scored inside the last minute of the game to provide for the final six-goal Spartan advantage.
The Spartans were fantastic on the man advantage as they went 6-for-12 while they were penalized just four times in the contest. Messiah went 0-for-4 in their man advantage situations. The Spartans entered the game having converted just 28% (10-of-35) of their man advantage opportunities this year.
Gamble was huge in the win as he poured in seven points on five goals and a pair of assists. He scored his goals on nine shots in the game with seven of those shots being on target. Lowe and Cooper each had four points with Cooper getting three goals and an assist while Lowe had two goals and two assists. McNicholas chipped in with three points on a pair of goals and one helper. Blaker was the final Spartan with multiple points as he notched a pair of goals.
Phil Wendt led the Falcons with three goals while J.J. Miller added two. Messiah had scored just three goals in their previous two games this season.
The Spartans outshot the Falcons 50-27 while Messiah held a 35-23 advantage in ground balls. The Falcons won 18 of the 29 face offs in the game while the Spartans failed on just three clears as they were successful on 26 of their 29 clears.
Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) earned the win in goal for York as he made seven saves for the Green and White. Josh Stewart took the loss as he allowed all 16 Spartan goals in his 57:54 of work. Steve Kozuhowski recorded one save in his 2:06 between the pipes for Messiah.
York returns to action on Tuesday afternoon when they host Dickinson College in a non-conference contest. Game time at Kinsley Field is set for 3:30 pm.