#9 Spartans Win Wild Game Over #20 Ithaca

#9 Spartans Win Wild Game Over #20 Ithaca

YORK, PA – The York College women's lacrosse team outlasted Ithaca College 14-12 in a back and forth non-conference contest on a sunny, yet brisk Saturday afternoon in York.

The Spartans, who are ranked ninth in the nation, improve to 3-1 overall while the Bombers, who are ranked 20th in the country, fall to 0-2.

Junior Sarah Castle (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) started the Spartans off right with a goal just 1:05 into the game. Ithaca tied the game eight minutes later on a Natalie Lang goal. Senior Jenna Hiponia (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) put York back in front with a free position goal at the 15:48 mark of the first half.

The Bombers answered with a pair of goals as Delaney Gilson and Emily Peters found the back of the net. The Green and White responded with two goals of their own as Kerri Nicolich (Islip, N.Y./Islip) and Hiponia picked up goals for York. Continuing the pattern of trading the lead, Ithaca received a goal from another Gilson followed by an Ally Runyon goal as the Bombers took a 5-4 lead with 1:42 left before intermission.

Senior Erica Mulford (Crownsville, Md./Seton Keough) got into the scoring act with 13 seconds left in the stanza as she blistered a shot into the back of the net, tying the game at five. The first half featured five ties and the second half would be much of the same.

The Bombers tallied the first two goals of the second half to take a 7-5 less than five minutes into the frame. York answered with goals from Castle and Mulford as the game was tied for a sixth time with 23:11 left. The Bombers would take their final lead of the game on a Riley Marion tally just over a minute later. Senior Melissa Ritchey (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) tied the game for the seventh, and final time, with her fourth goal of the year with just over 20 minutes left in the game.

Ritchey's goal kick started a four-goal spurt for the Spartans as the York lead grew to 11-8. Runyon scored to halt the Spartans run but York picked up three of the next four goals including a pair from sophomore Bri Boyer (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) as the Spartan lead grew to 14-10.

The Bombers made the game close at the end as Runyon and Marion scored, trimming the York lead to two goals but the Spartans were able to close out their third win of the year.

Castle poured in a career-high tying four goals while she also had three draw controls and a ground ball. Mulford had a team-high five points on three goals and two assists while she also had two draw controls. Boyer, Hiponia and Nicolich each contributed a pair of goals for the Spartans as York registered their highest offensive output of the season. Sophomore defender Megan Strauch (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) recorded six draw controls, six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Runyon and Marion each recorded four points to lead the Bombers. Runyon scored four goals while she also had five draw controls and two ground balls. Marion had three goals and an assist with two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Gilson contributed two goals while Becky Guzzo handed out two assists.

Ashley Smith (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) recorded the win as she had eight saves in her 60 minutes of action. Emily Ross suffered the loss as she played 55:56 with eight saves and 12 goals against. Brittany Romano played 4:04 and surrendered a pair of Spartan goals.

The Spartans outshot the Bombers 28-25 while Ithaca had a 17-15 edge in ground balls. York held a 17-11 margin in draws and both teams committed 17 turnovers.

The Spartans continue their four-game home stand with a Wednesday afternoon game against Messiah College. First draw is set for 4:00 pm.

Sarah Castle photo courtesy of Joe Rodgers