Spartans Triumphant in Saturday's CAC Tilt
YORK, PA – On arguably one of the most beautiful days of 2010, the York College men’s lacrosse team turned in one of their best performances of the year with a 15-10 victory over visiting Mary Washington on Saturday. The Spartans, who have now won four straight, stand at 6-5 and 3-0 in Capital Athletic Conference play while they get above the .500 mark for the first time this season. With the loss, the Eagles drop to 4-7 and remain winless in league play (0-3 CAC).
Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) continues to be an offensive juggernaut for the Green and White as he poured in six goals on the afternoon. The senior attack scored in each of the four quarters and increases his season total to a team-best 36 tallies.
Junior Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) also posted one of his most impressive outings of the 2010 campaign, notching three goals and three assists. Gamble’s third goal, York’s 11th of the day, proved the eventual game-winner as he registered his 33rd of the season with 13:25 remaining in the contest.
Down 3-2 early in the second quarter, the Spartans responded with a 5-0 run to close out the frame as three of those scores came in the final two minutes. Gamble knotted the game at three before he and McNicholas combined to give York the lead at 4-3 with 6:21 left in the half.
During a Spartan timeout with 2:15 remaining in the quarter, the officials discovered an illegal Eagle crosse and penalized the visitors for the infraction. The Spartans took full advantage of the opportunity notching two times during the unreleaseable minute-long penalty. Gamble started the run, via a Jamie Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) assist, at the 1:58 mark just 20 seconds before Lowe found Adam Cooper (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) for the Spartans’ sixth of the day. McNicholas would bring the spurt to a close with York’s seventh off yet another Lowe helper.
The third quarter saw the Spartans stretch their advantage to six goals as they led 10-4 after three periods.
It was the fourth stanza however, that proved slightly troubling for the home squad. After Gamble’s third tally, to give York an 11-4 lead, the Eagles embarked on a 4-1 run over a 3:29 span to cut the Spartan advantage to a less-than-comfortable 12-8. Evan Weiss began the run with his seventh of the season at the 11:31 mark while Dan Coats brought the visitors to within four with 8:02 left to play.
Those ideas of a Mary Washington comeback were quickly disposed of however, as McNicholas notched back-to-back scores. The senior’s fifth and sixth tallies of the day, the sixth coming with 4:20 showing on the clock, gave York a significant 14-8 advantage.
Brendan McLaughlin (Brookeville, Md./Good Counsel) drove home the final nail when he finished off a Jason Underwood (Shady Side, Md./Southern) assist a mere 15 seconds after McNicholas’ score.
Mary Washington recorded the game’s final two goals but the Spartans were in the clear, taking their third CAC win of the season.
For the game, the Green and White owned a 46-38 lead in shots while also collecting 52 ground balls to the Eagles’ 42.
Aside from his offensive prowess, McNicholas also caused three Eagle turnovers while Gamble picked up four ground balls. Lowe has a fantastic performance as the rookie recorded five assists on the day, including those three straight to end the second quarter. Cooper posted three goals for the Spartans while B.J. Blaker (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) added two. Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) snagged a game-high 15 ground balls with many of those coming on Spartan face-off wins. Freshman Dan Schuck (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) proved outstanding in face-offs winning 15-of-27 attempts while going a flawless 5-for-5 in the third quarter.
Senior netminder Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster) was tremendous in the victory as he made nine stops for the Spartans, several of which came on point-blank opportunities.
Mark Bowler paced Mary Washington’s offense with four goals and one assist while Weiss added a pair of scores. Defenseman Will Devlin caused a trio of turnovers as did Mike Ande. Goalkeeper Matt Prin also performed admirably in the cage for the visitors, finishing with 13 saves.
The Spartans now embark on the meat of their conference schedule. York finishes out their 2010 regular season slate with four straight CAC tilts, three of which are on the road, against the upper echelon of the league. The Green and White begin that stretch on Wednesday, April 7, with a trip to Dover, Del. for a 7:00 p.m. under-the-lights contest with the Wesley Wolverines.
Photo: Ryan McNicholas celebrates a Spartan goal against Mary Washington on Saturday - courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com