ST. DAVIDS, PA – The twelfth-ranked York College men's lacrosse team suffered a hard-to-swallow 10-9 non-conference loss to Eastern University on a brisk Wednesday afternoon in St. David's, PA.
The Eagles improve to 6-4 overall while the Spartans have now lost two straight as they fall to 7-3.
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead as the Green and White tallied the first two goals of the game. Andrew Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) opened the scoring with an unassisted goal 2:12 into the game. Sophomore Dakota Randall (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) put York up 2-0 with an unassisted goal with just 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles cut their deficit in half with a Dave Darling goal with 1:14 remaining in the opening period of play.
The second quarter started with a non-releasable three-minute penalty for an illegal crosse against the Spartans. The Eagles took advantage of the penalty as they scored four straight man-up goals in just 2:26 of game time as they turned a one-goal deficit into a 5-2 lead. Eastern got another man up opportunity just two minutes later as they pushed the lead to 6-2.
York's Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) stopped the bleeding with an unassisted goal with 8:45 left in the half but the Eagles got a sixth man-up goal in the quarter as Grant Ferguson found the back of the net for a 7-3 lead. The Eagles closed out their huge second quarter with an Eric Waibel goal with 2:46 left to take an 8-3 lead to the break.
The Spartans came out of the intermission and got back in the game by scoring three of the next four goals of the game, cutting the Eastern lead to 9-6 with 6:04 remaining in the quarter.
The Green and White continued their furious comeback in the opening stages of the fourth quarter. Senior James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) opened the final quarter with a goal at the 13:49 mark, cutting the York deficit to 9-7. Sophomore Joseph Joseph (Hollywood, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) pulled York to within one with his eighth goal of the year off a pass from Tyler Davis (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) with 4:31 left. Gamble tied the game 40 seconds later when he found the back of the net off a pass from Lowe, as the comeback was almost complete.
Unfortunately for York, Eagles won the ensuing face off and got the game winner a minute later when Ferguson hit a shot as he was falling in front of the crease to give the Eagles the 10-9 lead with 2:53 left in the game.
Eastern won the face off but York forced a turnover to gain possession 20 seconds later. The Spartans then turned the ball over themselves as the Eagles cleared the ball and called timeout. York caused a turnover with 44 seconds left and cleared the ball with 37 seconds remaining. The Spartans got a Seth Krolus (Westminster, Md./Loyola Blakefield) shot that went wide of the mark with nine ticks left and would not be able to get another shot off as the game clock expired.
The Eagles finished the game with six man-advantage goals as York had 6:30 of penalty time. Four of the man-advantage goals came on the illegal crosse penalty.
Darling had a huge day for the Eagles as he tallied seven points on three goals and four assists. Ferguson added three goals and an assist for four points while Waibel chipped in with two goals for Eastern. Joe Palo was key to the Eastern upset as he controlled the X, winning 17-of-23 face offs and collecting a game-high seven ground balls. Mark Cyron spearheaded the Eagles' defensive effort with four caused turnovers and three ground balls.
The Spartans received three goals from Gamble as the sophomore continues his stellar campaign as he now has tallied 26 goals. Lowe added two goals and an assist for three points. Joseph, Hutson, Randall and Chris Varela (Easton, Pa./Easton) tallied the other goals for York. Krolus picked up a team-high four ground balls and caused two turnovers for York.
Eastern outshot York 41-29 while they dominated at the X, winning 17-of-23 face offs in the game. The Eagles held a slight 29-26 margin in ground balls.
Pat Groschan earned the win in net for Eastern as he allowed nine goals and made nine saves in his 58:35 of work. Waibel played the final 1:16 in net and was not forced to make a save for Eastern.
Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) suffered the loss despite playing fantastic for the Green and White in net. He made 14 saves and surrendered just four goals in his 53:51 of action. James Anderson (Pasadena, Md./Annapolis Area Christian), the Spartan goalie on penalties, allowed six goals with one save in his six minutes of action.
The Spartans will look to halt their losing skid on Saturday as they travel to Marymount to face the Saints in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time in Arlington, VA is set for 4:00 pm.
Andrew Gamble photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications