YORK, Pa. – Putting together an outstanding performance, the #16 York College women's lacrosse team bested visiting Mary Washington 17-11 Saturday afternoon in Capital Athletic Conference action. The victory marks the first time in program history, spanning back to the inaugural 2006 campaign, that the Spartans have defeated Mary Washington.
The Green and White, who improved to 10-2 overall on the season, remain undefeated in conference play at 5-0. The #13 Eagles drop to 7-3 on the year and stand at 3-2 in the league.
Sophomore Erica Mulford proved an offensive force as she tallied a career-high five goals to pace the Spartans. Mulford, who also added an assist for York, has registered 40 points on the season courtesy of 26 goals and 14 helpers.
The first half proved back-and-forth as neither side established more than a two-goal advantage. After a Mo Sunderland goal at 13:32 remaining in the first put Mary Washington up 4-3, the Spartans went on a 3-0 run to snag a 6-4 advantage. Kim Wayson began the spurt as she tallied the first of her four goals on the day at the 10:11 mark. Leah Schultz and Sarah Castle followed with back-to-back notches just 12 seconds apart. Castle's 11th goal of her freshman campaign, with 8:46 left in the first, gave York the 6-4 lead.
Mary Washington responded and, before the last minute of the first, knotted the game at 7-7. With time ticking away before half, Mulford provided the Green and White with momentum heading into the break. With just 16 seconds remaining in the first, the sophomore found the back of the net for the second time as York captured an 8-7 advantage prior to the half.
That goal and momentum would prove huge as the Green and White embarked on a strong 9-4 second half.
At the beginning of the second frame, Mulford picked up where she left off, netting her third of the contest just 1:16 into the period. That tally was the first in 4-0 Spartan run as the home squad took a significant 12-7 lead with 22:17 remaining in the game.
Mary Washington did mount a comeback bid, cutting their deficit to three on a pair of occasions. However, both times, York won the ensuing draw control. After the Eagles' Keller Torrey cut the lead to three at 14-11 with just 4:38 to the play, Schultz won the draw control and York held the ball for over four and a half minutes.
Capitalizing on free-position shots proved key to the Spartan win as York recorded seven goals from those opportunities. The Green and White also won 18-of-30 draw controls.
Schultz, who collected six draw controls, caused a pair of turnovers and collected three ground balls. Castle registered four draw controls while Katie Vautier snagged three. Kelsey Evans recorded the win in the Spartan net as she made a pair of saves over her 30 minutes of play. Tina Nicklas, who came on at the beginning of the second half, also recorded two stops.
Mary Washington's Torrey netted a team-high three goals while Catherine Kennedy posted two tallies and one helper. Katie Mastropaolo recorded three caused turnovers and goalkeeper Kathryn Stiltz made seven saves.
Prior to the contest, Spartan seniors Meaghan Doak, Kerry Felton, Ashley Kanzler, and Rachel Klado were recognized for their contributions to the program during their time in the Green and White. This class has been part of the upswing of the York College women's lacrosse program, helping to give the Spartans a bright future. Over their four years, the Spartans have compiled a 40-22 overall record, including being part of the first squad in program history to be ranked in the top-20 as York broke into the national rankings this season.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, April 4, when they travel to Arlington, Va. to visit CAC foe Marymount (Va.). Game time is slated for 4:00 pm.
PHOTO: Erica Mulford lines up for a free-position shot against Mary Washington Saturday. Courtesy of Scott Guise - York College (Pa.) Director of Athletic Communications.