YORK, PA – The York College men's lacrosse team made their return home a successful one as the Spartans posted a 9-7 non-conference victory over the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats on a brutally cold and wet Saturday in York.
The Spartans improve to 5-2 as they returned to Kinsley Field after a season-high four game road trip. The Dips fall to 3-3 overall.
Warm-ups for the game began in a steady rain and as game time approached, the conditions worsened as the rain picked up and mixed with sleet.
The Diplomats appeared to deal with the conditions better, at least early on as they seized a 3-1 lead after the first quarter of play.
The Spartans evened the game on goals from James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) and Corey Cooke (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley). Lowe's goal was his eighth of the year and came at the 12:12 mark of the second quarter. Cooke's tally was his fifth and tied the game at three with 6:59 left prior to the half.
York pushed out to a temporary 4-3 lead on a Blake Bing (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) goal at the 2:32 mark. The Diplomats' Billy Kempner tied the game just over 70 seconds later as the squads headed to the break tied at four.
The Spartans have had a trend all year of falling behind early in the first quarter. The Green and White has also had a trend of dominating the third quarter and Saturday both of those trends held true. The Spartans blitzed the Diplomats to open the third as Andrew Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) scored the first of his career-high three goals just 1:56 into the second half. Bing then notched a man-up goal two and a half minutes later as the Spartan lead grew to 6-4.
Gamble struck again in the third, netting a goal off a pass from Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) at the 7:52 mark as the York lead grew to three. F&M's Tristan Miller scored the Diplomats' only goal of the third with 5:10 left in the period as York took a 7-5 lead into the final quarter.
The Spartans have now outscored their seven opponents 28-13 in the third quarter this season.
York got two goals within a minute of each other in the middle of the fourth quarter to pull out to a 9-5 lead. F&M scored twice in the final 7:45 including a man-down goal at the 1:09 mark to provide for the final two-goal margin of victory for York.
Spartan head coach Brandon Childs was happy to get a quality win at home.
"I think we came out to a slower start and that a lot had to do with the fact that they are a good defensive team," said Childs. "That meant we would have to get our momentum on the defensive end of the field. Coming into today's game we had done the opposite as we had been scoring goals to get momentum. We had some really key defensive stands today, which created great momentum for us. We had to keep chipping away on offense."
Childs believes the third quarter was a huge in the win.
"We came out with a great energy in the third quarter," stated Childs. "I thought our play in the third quarter was the difference in the game. It was more energy than anything else."
The Spartan offense was led by Gamble as the freshman had a career-high three goals while he also had an assist for four points. Davis added three points on two goals and an assist while Bing also found the back of the net twice for York.
Hutson handed out a career-high three assists as he took just four shots in the game. Freshman Josh Kluver (Abington, Pa./Abington) forced three caused turnovers while he also had a ground ball for York. Seth Krolus (Westminster, Md./Loyola Blakefield), Gamble, and Hutson each had four ground balls to lead York.
Childs said the Spartans made a few adjustments leading up to the game.
"Everything was a little bit different today. We started Andrew Gamble at attack and he gives us a little bit of a different element in the attack. I think today's scoring is a result of our depth. In practice, we can put different guys in different positions and we can ask them to play in different roles. We really didn't skip a beat despite having to shuffle some guys around due to injury."
Kempner led the Diplomats as he had four points on three goals and one assist. Miller added three goals. Tim Gaines added a goal and an assist for two points while he also had six ground balls. T.J. Tynan won 13-of-18 face offs for F&M while he also had a game-high 11 ground balls.
Freshman Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) earned the win in cage as he registered eight saves while he allowed seven goals. Abney improves to 2-1 with the win.
Cameron Setian played well in net for the Dips but still suffered the loss. Setian registered 15 saves, while he allow nine goals in his 60 minutes in net.
The Spartans outshot their guests 36-27 while York also held a 37-30 edge in ground balls. Franklin & Marshall won 15-of-the-20 contested face offs but the Spartans harassed the Dips into 22 turnovers while they forced F&M into 13-of-21 in clear attempts.
Childs was happy with the result especially after a tough, physical game on Wednesday night at #7 Salisbury.
"We are pretty banged up but a lot of our guys toughed it out and played. That was the best part that we didn't have much time to prepare because we needed to get healthy but those guy did a great job of coming out and playing hurt. It was awesome to see out of our team."
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday when they host Marywood in a non-conference contest. Game time at Kinsley Field is set for 4:00 pm.