MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Sophomore midfielder Leah Schultz scored four goals and added an assist at the York College women's lacrosse team topped Montclair State on Tuesday with a come-from-behind 13-9 triumph. With the non-conference victory, the Spartans tie the program record for wins in a season as they now sport a tremendous 11-2 mark, drawing even with the 2008 squad which went 11-6 on the year.
Schultz, who has quickly become one of the conference's top all-around players, notched three of her four scores in the opening frame. All three of those first-half tallies came in succession as she scored three straight times within a span of three minutes and 44 seconds.
The Red Hawks (6-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the game as Cori Delfini netted all three for the home squad. After Delfini's third, with 22:17 to play in the first, York took a timeout which would seemingly provide the necessary spark for the Green and White.
Following the timeout, the Spartans scored four straight goals and took a 4-3 lead with 13:25 remaining in the opening stanza. Sophomore attack Kim Wayson notched the first of that spurt before Schultz went on her three-goal blitz to give the York squad their first lead of the game.
Montclair's Kayla Henderson knotted the score at 4-4 on a successful free position shot with 8:45 before the halftime whistle. However, the Spartans would not allow the Red Hawks to regain the lead throughout the remainder of the contest.
Back-to-back Kerri Nicolich goals closed out the first half for the Spartans as the Green and White took a 6-4 lead into the break.
Despite never relinquishing the lead, the second 30 minutes proved tough with the Spartans gaining the slight upper-hand. Montclair cut their deficit to one early in the period but a goal from Melissa Ritchey and Schultz's fourth tally stretched York's lead to 8-5 with just under 23 minutes showing on the clock.
From there, the Red Hawks netted two straight to cut the lead to one once again but the Spartans effectively slammed the door shut on any comeback bid by responding with four consecutive goals. Those four straight, finished off by Wayson's second of the day, gave the Green and White their largest lead of the game at 12-7 with 10:59 to play.
Both offenses slowed slightly over the final minutes as a pair of Montclair scores followed by Wayson's third of the day closed out the scoring as York garnered the 13-9 final result.
Schultz's four tallies give the outstanding second-year Spartan 36 goals on the season, a mark which ranks fourth overall in the Capital Athletic Conference. She also snagged a team-high six draw controls (Schultz leads York with 45 draw controls in 2011) and collected a pair of ground balls.
Wayson's trio of scores increases her conference-leading total to 54 while Nicolich's two gives her a Spartan rookie-leading 17 this season.
Defensively, Spartan goalkeeper Tina Nicklas registered eight saves over her 60 minutes of work while Katie Vautier, the current Capital Athletic Conference Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week, caused a game-high three turnovers while picking up four ground balls.
Montclair's Delfini netted five goals on the day, including her three straight to open the contest, while Henderson notched a pair of tallies for the Red Hawks.
The Spartans will now look to establish a new season-high win mark when they return to action on Saturday, April 9, against CAC foe St. Mary's (Md.) in a 3:00 pm tilt. Prior to the game, York is slated to recognize their four senior student-athletes, Katie Bowers, Brittany Geraghty, Molly Kerrigan, and Katie Mansell, for their contributions during their careers with the Green and White.
Leah Schultz photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com