YORK, PA – The record setting York College men's lacrosse season came to a dramatic end on Saturday as the St. Mary's College Seahawks upset the Spartans 10-9 in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinals at Kinsley Field in York.
The two teams were meeting for the second time in seven days as the Spartans captured a 9-8 win at St. Mary's last Saturday to earn the tournament's second seed.
The Spartans finish their season with a school-record 13 wins as they just missed earning their first-ever CAC Tournament championship game appearance. The Seahawks improve to 11-6 and will travel to top-seeded Salisbury for next Saturday's conference title contest.
The Spartans were lethargic early as they committed three turnovers in their first three possessions. The Seahawks capitalized on the Spartans' six first-period miscues and carried the early play as they forged a 2-1 lead after the first quarter of play.
St. Mary's really got going in the second quarter as they scored three of the first four goals of the stanza to take a 5-2 lead. The Spartans got a man-up goal from Chris Varela (Easton, Pa./Easton) with 4:07 remaining before the half but the Seahawks quickly answered with a Stewart D'Ambrogi goal just 41 seconds later as the visitors took a 6-3 lead to the break.
Things didn't get better for York in the third quarter, which completely went against the trend of this year for York. The Spartans entered the game having outscored their opponents 57-29 in the third quarter for the year. On Saturday, the Seahawks scored the first two goals of the period before Andrew Taylor (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) got the Spartans on the board with a goal at the 9:19 mark.
St. Mary's then notched a huge goal with just 50 seconds left in the stanza as the Seahawks took a 9-4 lead to the final quarter of play.
The Spartans then sprang to life in the fourth. Andrew Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) found the back of the net just 53 seconds into the quarter to give York a little traction. Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) followed with a goal off a Gamble pass 34 seconds later as York cut their deficit to 9-6. Gamble kept the momentum going with his second goal of the quarter with 11:05 left in regulation.
The Seahawks tallied what would prove to be the winning goal 37 seconds after Gamble's second tally as Will Lerch notched an unassisted goal with 10:28 left.
Hutson scored at the 4:03 mark to bring York within two and then again with ten seconds left but the huge fourth period would not be enough to overcome the Spartans' first three quarters of play.
Scott Marsh was brilliant in goal for the Seahawks as he faced 40 shots and made 14 saves including seven in the fourth period. He improves to 9-2 with the win.
Freshman Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) registered 14 saves for the Spartans as he suffered the loss, just his third in 13 decisions this year.
York finished the game outshooting the Seahawks 40-31 in the game but that stat was skewed by the Spartans' 20-2 bulge in fourth quarter shots. St. Mary's held a 32-27 margin in ground balls while they dominated the X, winning 14-of-22 face-offs in the game.
The Spartans struggled on the man-up all day as they went just 1-for-10 while the Seahawks were 0-for-4 in the win.
St. Mary's was very balanced in the scoring column. Gordy Long and Lerch each had two goals for the Hawks while six others had one goal for the victors. Albert Mitchell won 14-of-22 face-offs while he also picked up a game-high seven ground balls in addition to scoring a goal for St. Mary's.
Hutson led York again as the sophomore standout notched a game-high six points on four goals and two assists. Hutson finished his record-setting second year in the Green and White with a school-record 58 goals and 78 points to go along with 20 assists. He is now third in career points (145), tied for second in goals (109) and sixth in points.
Gamble added two goals and an assist while Tyler Davis (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) added a goal and two assists.
The Spartans say goodbye to six outstanding seniors as they wore the Green and White for the final time in their careers. Ryan Cassidy (Austin, Texas/Westwood), Corey Cooke (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley), Justin Gordon (Baltimore, Md./Archbishops Curley), Daniel Schuck (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken), Joshua Crego (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) and Nate Stewart (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) closed out their careers having led the Spartans to 39 wins during their four years including 22 wins in the last two season.
The loss by the Spartans snaps an eight game win streak at Kinsley Field.
The Spartans will now wait to see if their 13 wins are enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament. The tournament selections will be announced on May 6.