YORK, PA – The York College men's lacrosse team opened their 2013 campaign with a solid 15-10 non-conference win over Muhlenberg College on a misty Saturday afternoon in York.
The Spartans improve to 1-0 while the Mules fall to 0-2 with the setback.
The Mules jumped on the Spartans early as Jason Mertz found the back of the net just 1:14 into the game. Muhlenberg pushed their lead to 2-0 on a Jon Thomas goal at the 11:12 mark of the first quarter. The Mules controlled the game early as they outshot York 6-1 in the first four minutes into the game.
The Spartans steadied themselves and got a Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mills) goal off a Muhlenberg turnover at the 8:32 mark. Hutson struck again just over a minute later as James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) fed a cutting Hutson, tying the game at two. The Mules received a Doug Rheiner tally with 5:14 left in the quarter as Muhlenberg took a 3-2 lead to the quarter break.
Hutson opened the second quarter scoring with his third straight goal of the game, knotting the score at three. Sophomore Tyler Davis (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) gave the Spartans a 4-3 lead just over two minutes later when he scored an unassisted goal for the Green and White.
The Spartans' EMO group got their first goal of the season at the 9:09 mark when freshman Dakota Randall (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) fed Chris Varela (Easton, Pa./Easton) for a beautiful man-advantage goal as the Spartan lead grew to 5-3.
Muhlenberg cut their deficit to one on Rheiner's second goal of the day just 3:29 prior to the break.
The Spartans came out of the intermission and banged out two goals in the first 2:40 of the third quarter. Blake Bing (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) made it 6-4 on a goal off a pass from Davis at the 13:55 mark. Freshman Joseph Joseph (Hollywood, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) notched his first collegiate tally when he unleashed a shot from the left wing and found the back of the net, pushing York's lead to 7-4.
The Mules responded with two quick goals of their own, cutting the York lead back to one with 10:45 remaining in the third. The teams traded goals over the next five minutes before the Spartans ended the quarter on a three-goal spurt. Lowe scored at 5:17, Bing scored at the 4:00 mark and Varela got his second man-up goal with 1:20 left as York's lead grew to 11-7.
Muhlenberg scored to open the fourth before York got a goal from Randall and Hutson to go up 13-8. The Mules got two straight goals in a 24 second span to cut the Spartan lead to 13-10 but the Spartans maintained their composure and closed out the win with goals from Hutson and Lowe to finish the scoring.
Spartan head coach Brandon Childs was happy to pick up the win on Saturday.
"I thought we played fast and we never took our foot off the gas petal," said the second year Spartan mentor. "We just kept going at them. Early on we weren't capitalizing on some good chances but I knew it was only a matter of time before we started finishing them off. I thought we looked good in some areas but obviously have a lot of different areas that we need to improve upon."
Hutson picked up where he left off from last year as the reigning CAC Rookie-of-the-Year poured in a game-high five goals. Lowe added two goals and one assist while Bing and Varela each contributed a pair of goals for York. Randall made his collegiate debut an impressive one as he notched a goal and a team-high three assists in the win.
Daniel Schuck (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) went 13-for-28 in face offs while he also had six ground balls. Junior captain Seth Krolus (Westminster, Md./Loyola Blakefield) had a great all around game as he tied Schuck for the team lead in ground balls with six in addition to a goal, an assist, and a caused turnover. Senior defender Justin Gordon (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) led York with three caused turnovers while he also had five ground balls.
Reilly led the Mules as he notched four points on three goals and an assist. Rheiner tallied three goals of his own while he also had four ground balls. Thomas and Mertz each added two goals while Thomas also added an assist.
Ian Jones led the Mules with eight ground balls as he was 15-for-25 on the face off for Muhlenberg.
Junior Joey Bellavia (Seauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) picked up his first Spartan win as he recorded 11 saves in the win. Adam Schlauch suffered the loss for the Mules as he recorded 12 saves in his 60 minutes of action.
The Spartans outshot their guests 45-37 including 27-21 in shots on goal. Both teams had 35 ground balls while Muhlenberg held a 16-13 edge in face offs won. The Spartans forced the Mules into 23 turnovers while York had 18 miscues in the win.
Childs was happy to see his squad's depth provide results in the season-opener.
"I think our balance is a testament to playing a number of guys. We played five in the attack, about 11 midfielders, five defenders, two long stick midfielders, a goalie and a face off guy so we play a lot of guys. I thought we got more productivity out of our second midfield group than we did out of our first. I am sure there are a lot of coaches around the country that would like to say that after a win."
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday afternoon as they host the University of Scranton in a non-conference contest. First face off is scheduled for 3:00 pm.