YORK, Pa. – The York College women's lacrosse team fell just short of a terrific comeback win on Saturday afternoon, Spartan senior day, falling to 12-10 to St. Mary's (Md.) at York's Kinsley Field. The Capital Athletic Conference loss drops the Spartans to 11-3 (4-3 CAC) on the season while the Seahawks improve to 10-5 (4-3 CAC).
After digging themselves a deep hole, as York was down 8-3 after 34 minutes of play, the Spartans embarked on a tremendous comeback bid in the second half.
Freshman Melissa Ritchey opened what would prove to be a five-goal spurt as she tallied her 12th of the season with 24:19 remaining in the game.
Leah Schultz cut a deeper into St. Mary's lead as notched her 38th of the year with 17:46 to play. Rookie Erica Mulford followed Schultz just 1:36 later before Lauren Kula brought York to within one with her 12th goal of the season with 14:01 to play.
Mulford then officially brought the Spartans all the way back with her second goal of the half to knot the score at 8-8 with 12:29 remaining on the second half clock.
During that run, York proved especially strong in draw controls, winning 4-of-6, to help them get back into the game.
Alas, the Seahawks regained the lead just 1:06 later, regaining a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest. Emily Shafer finished off one of Lauriann Parker's five assists on the day to give her squad the 9-8 advantage.
The Green and White continued to push however, drawing to within one with 2:52 lead. Kim Wayson notched her team-leading 56th goal of the 2011 campaign to bring the Seahawk lead to a mere one at 11-10.
However, St. Mary's responded to Wayson's goal by winning the ensuing draw control. Shortly after, Cailey Aburn completed the game's scoring with 2:12 left, giving her squad the final goal in the 12-10 Seahawk victory.
For the game, Mulford tallied three times for York while Wayson, Kula, and Schultz each scored twice. Sophomore defender Katie Vautier was brilliant for York throughout the game, notching three caused turnovers, four ground balls, and two draw controls.
Parker recorded six points on a goal and her five assists, while Erin Shackelford tallied three times. Four Seahawks registered two goals each.
Colleen Simpson was simply marvelous for St. Mary's throughout her 60 minutes of play. Simpson proved outstanding as she made 11 saves, including several terrific stops, to hold the Spartan offense at bay.
Prior to the contest, the Spartans recognized their four senior student-athletes - Katie Bowers, Brittany Geraghty, Molly Kerrigan, and Katie Mansell - for their contributions to the York program.
York will look for a swift return to the win column as they host CAC foe Frostburg State on Tuesday, April 12. The afternoon tilt, the Spartans' final regular season game of the 2011 season, is slated for a 2:00 pm start.
PHOTO: Sophomore defender Katie Vautier cradles the ball during against St. Mary's on Saturday. Courtesy of Rachel Davenport - York College athletic communications practicum student