#15 Spartans Use Dominant First Half to Secure 15-9 CAC Victory Over St. Mary's

#15 Spartans Use Dominant First Half to Secure 15-9 CAC Victory Over St. Mary's

YORK, Pa. – The #15 York College women's lacrosse team used a six-goal halftime lead to propel itself to a 15-9 Capital Athletic Conference victory over a talented St. Mary's (Md.) squad on Wednesday afternoon at Kinsley Field.

With the win, York (11-4, 6-1 CAC) currently moves ahead of St. Mary's (11-4, 5-2) to take second place in the conference standings with one conference game remaining for each team. The top two seeds in the conference receive first-round byes in the CAC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday.

The Spartans notched the first tally of the contest when Allison Kolacy (Rockaway, N.J. / Morris Knolls) scored her 17th goal of the season just over three minutes into the game. The Seahawks answered back as they won the ensuing draw and scored on a free-position opportunity. Erica Kopf had a chance at a free-position shot, but decided not to shoot and passed to the right wing where Abbey Harrison received the pass and finished from close range.

Following the goal by St. Mary's, the Spartan offense went to work. York ripped off seven straight goals and took an 8-1 lead with 11:21 left to play in the first half. During that run, York nearly averaged a goal per minute, scoring six goals in a span of 6:04. York had six different goal scorers during that run and combined for 11 total points as four different Spartans recorded assists on those goals.

Brittany Noell (Silver Spring, Md. / Our Lady Of Good Counsel) scored two goals on York's seven-goal run while Rachel Saks (Baltimore, Md. / Catonsville) and Jayme Verman (York, Pa. / Lancaster Country Day) each tallied a goal and an assist on the run. Verman went on to score another goal before the end of the first half and she and Noell ended the half with two goals each.

The Spartans managed to build a significant margin and keep the pressure on the Seahawks by winning 10 of the 13 draws in the first half, in addition to only committing five turnovers and causing eight of SMC's 10 turnovers. Karlie Dougherty (Baltimore, Md. / Mercy) performed brilliantly on the draw as she collected four first half draw controls. The senior captain finished the game with seven draw controls, tying her career-high that she set earlier this season.

The ability to maintain possession in the first half through winning draw controls and causing turnovers resulted in the Spartans building a 23-8 shot advantage over the Seahawks. It is York's second-highest first half shot margin and second-highest first half shot total this season. YCP also recorded its second-best first half margin in ground balls by holding an 11-5 advantage.

The numbers evened out in the second half as St. Mary's matched York on the scoreboard, 6-6. However, the Spartans used their 9-5 second-half draw control advantage to capitalize on a dominating first-half performance and keep distance between themselves and the Seahawks.

York finished the game with a 19-7 advantage draw controls, its second-largest margin of the season and the third time its reached 19 draw controls this year. The Spartans also finished with a 35-16 lead in shots, which marks the highest shot total of the year and the seventh time they have recorded 30 or more shots.

The Spartans will face Christopher Newport University on Saturday at noon at Kinsley Field in their final CAC and regular season game of the season. With a win, York will secure second place in the CAC standings and ensure a first-round bye in the conference tournament. 

Photo courtesy of Joe Rodgers