SALISBURY, MD – The York College Spartan men's lacrosse team made their first Capital Athletic Conference championship game appearance in school history on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Spartans, their foe, the second ranked Salisbury Sea Gulls, were in familiar territory as the Sea Gulls captured their 18th CAC crown with a 12-4 win over the Green and White.
The Sea Gulls improve to 18-1 overall while the Spartans fall to 15-4.
Salisbury jumped on the Spartans early with four goals to open the game. Donovan Lange struck twice on the run as the Sea Gulls seized control early. Spartan senior James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) got York on the board with 4:10 left in the first quarter, temporarily slowing the Salisbury momentum.
The Sea Gulls stretched out the lead in the second quarter, scoring three straight to take a 7-1 lead with 7:33 remaining in the half. Taylor Tolbert (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) got the Spartans' second goal with 5:22 left in the quarter but the Gulls' Luke Phipps capped the first half with his second goal of the game as Salisbury took an 8-2 lead to the intermission.
The way Salisbury's defense was playing, that was more than enough to capture the conference championship.
Salisbury outscored York 4-0 in the third quarter, a quarter the Spartans have dominated all year.
York got a pair of fourth quarter goals to account for the 12-4 final score.
Phipps and Rhett DePol led Salisbury as they each tallied two goals and two assists for four points. Brandon Kendrick, Sean Fitzgerald and Donovan Lange each added three points off the bench for the Gulls.
Zeke Smith led the defensive effort with three caused turnovers and four ground balls. Chris Biank went 12-for-20 at the X while he also had eight ground balls.
Lowe, Tyler Davis (Finksburg, Md./Westminster), Dennis Young (Spring City, Pa./Spring-Ford), and Tolbert scored the goals for York as the Spartans were held to their lowest scoring output of the year.
Sophomore All-CAC defender Josh Kluver (Abington, Pa./Abington) had four caused turnovers and two ground balls to lead the Spartan defense.
Salisbury finished the game outshooting York 39-18 while the Gulls also held a 35-29 margin in ground balls. Both teams were sloppy with the ball, committing 20 turnovers each.
Alex Taylor earned the win as he registered seven saves in the victory. Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) notched ten saves with ten goals against in 59:02 of work for York.
The Sea Gulls snapped a pair of lengthy Spartan win streaks during the year. They broke York's school record seven game streak in March and the win today broke York's current five game streak.
The Spartans will now await their NCAA Tournament fate while the Gulls earn the CAC's automatic bid. The NCAA will announce the Division III Tournament field Sunday night. Please check back at www.ycpspartans.com for complete tournament coverage on Sunday evening.
Taylor Tolbert photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications