March 24, 2012

Big Second Half Lifts #12 Messiah Past #17 Spartans

YORK, PA – The 12th ranked Messiah College Falcons exploded for seven second half goals en route to a 12-6 win over #17 York College in a non-conference women's lacrosse contest in rainy York, PA on Saturday afternoon. The Falcons, who were coming off a one-goal double overtime loss to nationally ranked F&M, improve to 7-1 overall while the Spartans fall to 8-2.

The Falcons started off on fire early as Messiah standout Rachel Dirksen put home two goals just 1:46 into the game. Her two goals came just 16 seconds apart, giving the visitors the early lead.

York responded with four straight goals over the next nine minutes to take the 4-2 lead. The spurt was powered by junior standout Kim Wayson as she scored started the run off an Erica Mulford assist at the 27:32 mark to get York on the board. Melissa Ritchey banged home a Mulford pass with 22:31 left in the first to tie the game at two. Wayson then scored two goals in a 21 second stretch, giving York a two-goal lead.

The Falcons got another Dirksen goal with 17:51 remaining in the half, cutting the York lead to 4-3. York's Jenna Hiponia pushed the lead back to 5-3 on a free-position goal but Messiah tallied the last two goals of the half including a tally with 32 seconds left in the stanza, sending the teams to the intermission tied at five.

The Falcons seized control of the contest in the earlier stages of the second half. Cecilia Kjellman started the scoring with an unassisted goal at the 23:20 mark. That started a six-goal Messiah run that turned a tie game into an 11-5 lead. The spurt covered just over 14 minutes of action.

York stopped the run with Wayson's fourth goal of the day but the Green and White would not score again in the game. Lizzy Keeney closed out the scoring with a Falcon goal with 3:56 remaining in the game.

The Falcons outshot the Spartans 24-16 in the game including 13-6 in the second half. York held a slight 17-12 edge in ground balls while the Falcons won 12 of the game's 20 draw controls. Both teams committed 18 turnovers in the game.

Dirksen led the Falcons as she tallied five goals while she also had one assist and four draw controls. Dirksen now has 39 goals for the season. Keeney added four goals and three ground balls for the Falcons. Kjellman contributed two goals while Meghan Doolittle chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Falcons.

Wayson powered the Spartans as the junior had four goals and three ground balls to lead York. Hiponia and Ritchey tallied the other goals for the Spartans in just their second loss of the year. Junior Leah Schultz had six draw controls for York.

Taylor Phillips earned the win in goal as she notched nine saves in her 60 minutes of work. She improves to 7-1 with the win. Kelsey Evans took the loss for York as she made seven saves in the game.

The Spartans travel to Frostburg State University on Wednesday for a Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time in Frostburg is set for 4:00 pm.

Leah Schultz photo courtesy of Theresa Dark - Athletic Communications Student Photographer