YORK, PA – The York College women's lacrosse team beat the elements and Messiah College on Wednesday afternoon in York as the #10 Spartans notched a 10-8 win over the Falcons in non-conference play at Kinsley Field.
When the game started, it was sunny and 60 degrees. By midway through the second half, a cold front barreled through York, accompanied by torrential downpours and increasing winds as the conditions did a 180 during the 60 minutes of play.
The Spartans improve to 4-1 overall while the Falcons fall to 1-4 as they have played a number of top teams in the country.
The Falcons jumped on the Spartans early as they received goals from Lizzy Keeney and Madi Brunk to take a 2-0 lead just under 13 minutes into the game.
The Spartans answered with three straight goals as Megan Stine (Stevensonville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) got York on the board at the 15:37 mark with her first goal of the year. Sarah Castle (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis Christian) and Melissa Ritchey (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) tallied goals 29 seconds apart as the Spartans took a 3-2 lead with 14:02 left in the half.
The Falcons ended the second half with a two-goal spurt in the final 1:07 of the stanza as Messiah took a 4-3 lead to the break.
Messiah maintained the momentum that they seized at the end of the first half as they scored the opening two goals of the second half to push the lead to 6-3.
With the dark clouds growing to the west, the Spartan offense kicked it into gear. Castle started the Spartan run with a goal at the 24:52 mark. Jocelyn Hudson (York, Pa./Central York) followed with her sixth goal of the year just 31 seconds later as York trailed 6-5. Castle then tied the game 2:13 later as she scored off a pass from Erica Mulford (Crownsville, Md./Seton Keough).
With the rain starting to pelt Kinsley Field, Mulford cashed in her first goal of the game to give York a lead they would not lose off a feed from Stine with 18:52 left in the game.
Kerri Nicolich (Islip, N.Y./Islip) and Hudson gave the Spartans two big insurance goals and capped the six goal Spartan spurt that left their lead at 9-6 with 16:14 remaining in the game.
With the conditions reeking havoc with the play on the field, the next 11 minutes featured the two teams just trying to run offense and create opportunities.
The Falcons made it interesting late as they got two quick goals from Keeney and Casey Daggett with 4:46 left in regulation.
Nicolich won the ensuing draw but the ball was turned over a combined six times before Mulford scored an empty net goal with 46 seconds left. The empty net was a result of the Falcons pressing the Spartans looking for a turnover and the equalizing goal. Castle won the draw after the Mulford goal and York killed off the final 46 seconds of the game to earn their fourth win of the year.
Castle had a big day for the Green and White as she notched three goals and an assist for four points. She also had four draw controls and a ground ball. Mulford added four points on two goals and two assists while Nicolich chipped in with a goal, two assists, a draw control and two ground balls. Hudson had a pair of goals, two draw controls, a ground ball and a caused turnover. Stine contributed a goal, an assist and team-high three grounds balls.
Keeney and Brunk led the Falcons with four points each. Keeney had three goals and an assist while Brunk had a goal and three assists. Keeney also collected a team-high four draw controls. Claire Stikelleather added a goal and an assist to the Falcon effort. Emily Mumford scooped up a game-high six ground balls for Messiah.
York outshot the Falcons 24-21 while they also held a 20-14 edge in ground balls. York won 10 of the 19 draw controls in the game.
York's Ashley Smith (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) earned the win in net as she recorded eight saves in her 60 minutes of work. Sarah Dolan was tagged with the loss as she allowed 10 goals while she was credited with seven saves for the Falcons.
York returns to action on Saturday when they open Capital Athletic Conference play against defending conference champion Salisbury University. First draw from Kinsley Field is set for 12:00 pm.
Kerri Nicolich photo courtesy of Chelsea Bock