YORK, PA – The York College women's lacrosse team used a strong first half to roll past Alvernia College 20-11 in non-conference action on Thursday afternoon in York. The Spartans remain undefeated at 4-0 while the game was the season opener for the Crusaders as they fall to 0-1.
The Spartans seized control early in the contest, scoring five of the first six goals. Jenna Hiponia and Erica Mulford led the early charge with two goals each as the Spartans had a four-goal advantage just over eight minutes into the game.
The Crusaders scored two of the next three goals with both coming from Alyssa Verrillo, trimming the York lead to 6-3 at the 17:43 mark.
The Spartans ripped off the next eight goals to take control of the game. The spurt was started by and fueled by junior Kim Wayson. After scoring the first two goals of the run, Wayson scored two more times during the spurt as York pushed out to a 14-3 lead. The Crusaders stopped the run with 35 seconds left in the half as Sarah George scored just before the half.
The second half was far more competitive as the Crusaders scored five of the first seven goals of the half, cutting York's advantage to 16-9 with 13:10 remaining in regulation. The Spartans responded with a pair of Mulford free position goals as the Spartan lead stretched back to nine at 18-9. Hiponia followed with her third goal of the day as the York lead went back to 10. The Crusaders scored two of the final three goals of the day including a tally with four seconds left, providing for the final 20-11 margin.
Mulford had a big day as she tallied six points on four goals and two assists. Wayson added four goals and one assist for five points while Melissa Ritchey had five points on a game-high four assists and one goal. Hiponia, Kerri Nicolich, and Sarah Castle each added three goals in the win.
Katie Vautier led the Spartan defense with three caused turnovers while she also had a team-high five ground balls. Junior Leah Shultz won five draw controls to pace York.
Verrillo had a big season-opener for the Crusaders as she poured in five goals on just eight shots. She also had four draw controls for Alvernia. Allison Bainbridge and Sarah George each contributed two goals to the Crusader offense.
Kelsey Evans earned the win in goal for the Spartans as she allowed four goals with three saves in her 30 minutes of work in the first half. Tina Nicklas allowed seven goals with five assists as she played in goal during the second half for York.
Vicki Kearn suffered the loss in goal for the Crusaders. She allowed 14 goals with five saves in her 30 minutes of action. Jen Czarnecki played the second half and allowed just six goals with six saves for Alvernia.
The Spartans outshot the Crusaders 38-32 while Alvernia had a 19-17 edge in ground balls. Alvernia also held a 17-16 margin in draw controls for the game but the Crusaders committed 19 turnovers in the loss.
Both teams struggled in free position shots as York was 3-for-12 while Alvernia was 1-for-9.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday, March 6 when they host nationally ranked Franklin & Marshall at Kinsley Field. Game time in York is set for 4:00 pm.
Erica Mulford photo courtesy of David Sinclair (www.davidsinclair.org)