YORK, Pa. – Freshman Erica Mulford notched the game-winning tally to lift the York College women's lacrosse team to a 9-8 overtime victory over visiting Dickinson Tuesday afternoon at York's Kinsley Field. The Spartans, who are off to their best start in the program's brief history, improve to 5-0 on the season while the Red Devils drop their second straight heartbreaker and fall to 2-3.
Knotted at 8-8 following 60 minutes of regulation, the non-conference tilt spilled into the initial six-minute overtime session. With less than ten seconds left before the squads switched ends, Mulford was awarded a free position attempt. The rookie, who had a free position shot saved earlier in the game, toed the 8-meter line and ripped her third shot of the day into the back of the Dickinson net. That game-winner was Mulford's seventh goal of the season as she leads York's freshman class in that category.
The Green and White put on an exceptional performance during the overtime frame. Defensively, the Spartans only allowed one Dickinson shot throughout the entire six-minute period – a Katie Muir attempt that was saved by Tina Nicklas – and kept the ball for a majority of the overtime session. After the squad's switched ends after the first three minutes, Leah Schultz snagged the draw control and the Spartans successfully ran out the final minutes of the game, keeping control the entire time.
Getting into that overtime period proved a noteworthy defensive effort in itself. Dickinson had control of the ball for nearly 90 seconds as regulation came to a close, yet the Spartan defense did not allow a single shot during that time.
Sophomore Kim Wayson once again led the Green and White offensively, adding four goals to her incredible ledger to start the season. An offensive juggernaut, Wayson tallied four times to bring her season total to 24 goals just five games into the season.
York's largest lead of the game came in the second stanza as the Spartans built an 8-5 advantage with 16:29 to play. Following Wayson's fourth of the contest with 28:54 remaining, freshman Sam Smith posted back-to-back scores with 21:09 and 16:29 left to give the Green and White the game's largest margin.
For the game, junior captain Whitney Kendall added a goal and an assist for York while defender Katie Vautier registered five ground balls, three draw controls, and two caused turnovers.
The Red Devils' Clare Manoli notched three scores while Katie Muir totaled two in the contest.
Spartan Goalkeeper Nicklas recorded the triumph as she put on a strong performance between the pipes. Over her 66 minutes of work, Nicklas tallied eight saves, including several point-blank stops.
This marks the Spartans' fifth overtime game in the six-year history of the program. York, who had last won an extra session contest on April 7, 2009 (a 6-5 overtime win at home over St. Vincent), now sports a 3-2 record all-time in OT contests.
The Spartans now turn their collective focus to Saturday as they travel to Mary Washington for their second Capital Athletic Conference tilt of the season. Play from Fredericksburg, Va. is slated for a 1:00 pm start.
Erica Mulford photo courtesy of Theresa Dark - Athletic Communications practicum