April 18, 2010

Spartans End 2010; McNicholas Owns Goals Scored Record

YORK, PA – The York College men's lacrosse team saw their 2010 campaign come to an untimely end Sunday afternoon with an enigmatic 19-9 loss to visiting Mary Washington in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament. The Spartans, who competed against one of the toughest schedules in all of Division III this season, finish the year with a 7-9 mark while the now 8-8 Eagles travel to #1 Salisbury on Tuesday for a semifinal date with the Sea Gulls.

A determined Mary Washington squad, looking to avenge their 15-10 loss to the Spartans back on April 3, jumped out front early and never trailed throughout the 60 minutes.

Junior Kohl Meyer posted an outstanding day for the Eagles. He scored a game-high five goals while dishing out one assist for the visitors. The speedy midfielder troubled the Spartan defense all day with his shifty ability and nose for the goal.

The story of the contest proved to come in the second quarter. After scoring two straight goals and now down only two at 5-3, the Spartans looked to claw their way back into the game. Nearly midway through the frame York had an exceptionally long possession, during which the Green and White had a one-minute man-advantage.

Unfortunately for the home squad, that extensive possession would go to waste. In one particular stretch, York ripped off five straight shots yet none could find the target.

In total, from the 11:37 mark to the 6:17 mark of the second quarter, the Green and White recorded eight straight shots, including two which were saved by Eagle netminder Matt Prin.

York's lack of accuracy would soon come back to bite the Spartans. A mere 24 seconds after the Green and White took their eighth shot of that stretch, Harry Snyder found the back of the York goal with his 27th score of the year.

Trailing 7-3 after the first half, the Spartans would get as close to 8-6 with 9:06 to play in the third after Kevin Topper's (Marriottsville, Md./Liberty) 16th of the year.

However, that two-goal deficit quickly ballooned. Following Topper's score, the Eagles embarked on a crushing 10-3 run to close the game, increasing their lead six by the end of the third and then to eight by the 5:29 mark of the fourth, before finally reaching the 19-9 final

Mary Washington outshot the Spartan 43-38 while snagging seven more ground balls (50-43).  The visitors won a majority of the face-offs, including 8-of-13 in the first half.

Dan Coats notched four goals on the day as he joined Meyer to lead the Eagles' offensive exploits. Four others scored twice, including Brian Deal who also added a pair of assists. Dave Watts snagged a team-high six ground balls while Matt Vazquez totaled three caused turnovers. Ryan Motyka won 15-of-25 face-offs and collected five ground balls. Prin secured the win in the Eagle goal as he made 10 saves over his 60 minutes of work.

Spartan standout Ryan McNicholas (Fallston, Md./Fallston) led York's offensive effort with three tallies in his final contest in a Spartan uniform. McNicholas goes down as the most prolific scorer in the history of the York program having amassed a school-record 109 goals over his four seasons. His 47 goals this season ranks second all-time behind Scott Hermes' 53 in 2002 while he is one of only three players to have scored more than 40 goals in a season for the Green and White.

The third student-athlete in that outstanding trio is junior attack Josh Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton). Gamble finishes the season with a tremendous 65 points on 43 goals and 22 assists. He is currently tied for second in the 11-year history of the program with 131 points over his three seasons.

With their 2010 campaign now officially complete, the Green and White bid farewell to their seven seniors. McNicholas, Zach Scherr (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin), James Greenwood (Bel Air, Md./Fallston), Jason Underwood (Shady Side, Md./Southern), Dan Sadler (Arnold, Md./Broadneck), Chris Collins (Westminster, Md./Westminster), and Josh Muskin (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) close out their respective careers having helped the Spartans to a 30-31 mark over the past four seasons.

Despite that loss of talent, the Green and White do welcome back eight of their top nine scorers for the 2011 season, including Gamble, as they strive to become one of the top programs in the tough CAC.

GAME BOX

Photo: Ryan McNicholas closes out his career as the top goal-scorer in Spartan history - courtesy of Scott Guise