YORK, PA – The York College men's lacrosse team made history on Wednesday as the Spartans defeated Susquehanna University 8-3 in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The NCAA tournament victory came in York's very first post-season tournament game as they advance to the second round.
The Spartans, who are ranked 11th in the nation, improve to 16-4 overall. The Crusaders, who were the Landmark Conference champion, finish the year at 11-8. The 16 wins for the Spartans continues to extend the school record for victories in a season.
The Green and White got off to a good start courtesy of junior All-American Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill). Hutson scored the only goals of the opening quarter as he tallied the first goal of the contest off a pass from senior James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) at the 8:46 mark. He added a second less than a minute later when Tyler Davis (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) found him for the goal. The assist was Davis' school-record 39th of the year.
The Green and White pushed the lead to 3-0 on an Andrew Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton) goal less than four minutes into the second quarter. The Spartans would continue to control tempo but York struggled to put their shots on target as they just missed a number of chances either by firing wide or by missing high.
The Crusaders got on the board with 2:40 left in the half as Austen Lein notched his 29th goal of the year. The Spartans responded just over a minute later as senior Seth Krolus (Westminster, Md./Loyola Blakefield) ripped a shot that eluded Crusader goalie Jared Knowlton for a goal with left in the half.
The Spartans outshot the Crusaders 21-8 in the first 30 minutes while they also won 6-of-7 face offs. The Green and White defense did a great job as they forced nine Susquehanna turnovers in the first half.
The Crusaders got on the board first in the second half as Nick Citron notched an unassisted goal 4:48 into the quarter as Susquehanna cut the Spartan lead to 5-2. Krolus got that goal back just under four minutes later as he was a one-man dodge in scoring his second goal of the game. Davis tacked on a man-up goal with 38 seconds left in the third quarter as the York lead grew to 6-2.
The Green and White padded the lead with fourth quarter goals from Chris Varella (Easton, Pa./Easton) and Dakota Randall (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa). Varella scored off a pass from Lowe at the 14:28 mark. Randall notched a man-up goal off a pass from Lowe with 9:31 remaining in the game.
Susquehanna's Greg Budd closed out the scoring with a goal with 1:56 left in regulation.
The Spartans finished the game outshooting the Crusaders 42-18 while they also held a 30-21 margin in ground balls. York dominated at the X, winning 11-of-14 face offs in the game.
Lowe led the Spartan offense with three assists for three points. Krolus tallied two goals with three ground balls in his final appearance at Kinsley Field. Hutson added two goals for the Green and White in the win. Davis was the fourth Spartan with multiple points in the game as he had a goal and an assist.
Freshman Jake Katchmark (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was fantastic at the X as he was 11-for-14 with six ground balls. Katchmark continues raise his face off winning percentage as he is now up to a season-high 53.9% at the X.
The Crusaders received their three goals from three different players as Lein, Citron and Budd notched tallies for Susquehanna.
Lein and Kade MacGregor led the Crusaders with four ground balls each while MacGregor also had a game-high three caused turnovers.
Spartan netminder Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) earned the win as he recorded nine saves and allowed just the three goals in his 58:42 of work. The win is Abney's 26th career victory in his two years in the pipes for the Green and White.
Knowlton suffered the loss as he recorded 15 saves in 58:13 of work. He allowed the eight Spartan goals as he suffered the hard-luck loss.
Spartan head coach Brandon Childs was happy to see his team earn the victory.
"It was good to go out and get a victory in our first NCAA Tournament game," said Childs. "I think we can play better and we will certainly have to do that on Saturday. We will get back to work tomorrow and get ready for a third game against Salisbury."
The Green and White will head to Salisbury, Maryland to face the second ranked Sea Gulls for the second time in eight days. Salisbury knocked off York in the Capital Athletic Conference championship game last Saturday. First face off is set for 12:00 pm in Salisbury.