Spartans Use Balanced Effort to Advance to CAC Semifinals

Spartans Use Balanced Effort to Advance to CAC Semifinals

ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The York College women's lacrosse team exacted a sweet dose of revenge as they downed St. Mary's College 10-7 in the opening round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Sunday in St. Mary's City, MD. The win comes just eight days after the Seahawks upset the Spartans 12-10 on Senior Day in York.

The Spartans now advance to face the top seeded Salisbury University in Tuesday's CAC Semifinals in Salisbury. York is now 13-3 overall as the Spartans continue to push up the school record for victories in a season. St. Mary's falls to 11-6 with the loss.

York jumped on the Seahawks early as the guests scored the first four goals of the game. Sophomore Leah Schultz cashed in on a free position shot just over five minutes into the game, putting YCP up 1-0. York struck just over three minutes later as sophomore Lauren Kula found the back of the net, giving York a 2-0 lead.

Senior Molly Kerrigan teamed up with sophomore Kim Wayson for York's third goal as Wayson found Kerrigan for her eighth goal of the season with 18:14 remaining in the first half.

Wayson converted an advantage opportunity after St. Mary's Sarah Harnish drew a yellow card as she found the back of the net with 10:42 left as the Spartan lead grew to 4-0.

St. Mary's cut their deficit in half with a pair of goals from Emily Shafer but Schultz got her 40th goal of the year with almost no time remaining in the half as the Green and White took a 5-2 lead to the break.

The Seahawks trimmed the lead to two on a Lauriann Parker goal 2:39 into the second half but Schultz answered Parker with her third goal of the day, this time off a pass from Erica Mulford with 23:32 left in the game.

York got a pair of back-to-back man-up goals to go up 8-3 with 19:58 remaining in regulation.

The Seahawks then ripped off four straight goals to turn a five-goal deficit into a one-goal margin with 11:51 left.  That's when the Spartan defense took over. York won the ensuing draw control and allowed just one St. Mary's shot on goal over the final 11:45 of the game.

The Spartans got a pair of insurance goals off free position shots in the last 8:30 of the game. Wayson converted a free position shot at the 8:29 mark, pushing the York lead to 9-7. Freshman Kerri Nicolich finished off the scoring with another free position goal with 4:24 left.

The Spartans finished the game with a 30-20 edge in total shots while York also held a slight 17-14 margin in ground balls. York was outstanding in free position shots, converting 4-of-8 attempts while the Seahawks were 1-for-3. Both teams had nine draw controls while the Spartans forced 16 St. Mary's turnovers for the game.

Sophomore Tina Nicklas earned the win in the pipes for York as she recorded nine saves in her 60 minutes of work. Colleen Simpson suffered the loss for St. Mary's as she allowed all 10 Spartan goals while she made 14 saves.

Schultz and Wayson led the Spartans with three points each. Schultz had a trio of goals as she now has 41 goals for the campaign. She also had a team-leading four draw controls for YCP. Wayson added a pair of goals and an assist as the Spartans' leading scorer now has 77 points on 59 goals and 18 assists. Kula added a goal and an assist for York. Nicolich contributed a goal, a draw control, three ground balls, and a caused turnover for the Green and White.

Parker paced the Seahawks with two goals and two assists for four points. Shafer added a pair of goals to the St. Mary's attack. Erin Schackelford added three draw controls and a goal.

The victory is just the second conference tournament win for the Green and White as the Spartans advance to the CAC Semifinals for the first time since 2007.  York's only previous CAC tournament win came on April 22, 2007 when they defeated Catholic University 18-17 in double overtime in Washington, DC.

The Spartans now make their second trip to Salisbury. York played at Salisbury on March 26 as the Gulls posted a 12-10 win. The Spartans have never met the Sea Gulls in the CAC Tournament. First draw is set for 4:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon.

Photo: Leah Schultz recorded a game-high three goals in the Spartans' CAC Tournament win over St. Mary's. Photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (