April 28, 2012

#11 Spartans Fall in CAC Championship Contest

SALISBURY, MD – The Salisbury University women's lacrosse team won their 10th straight Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship with their 17-5 victory over the York College Spartans on Saturday night in Salisbury, MD.

The Spartans fall to 14-4 overall as their first CAC championship game appearance did not lead to a conference championship. All four of the Spartan losses have come to nationally ranked squads including twice to the top-ranked Sea Gulls. York is currently ranked 11th in the nation according to the IWLCA poll.

Salisbury, who is the unanimous number one team in the country, improves to 18-0 overall.

The game was a tale of two halves. In the opening 30 minutes, the Spartans hung with the talented Sea Gulls. York trailed 3-1 at the 22-minute mark of the opening stanza. York's Erica Mulford notched her 34th goal of the year, pulling York to within one at 3-2. The Gulls got a Bethany Baer tally on a free position shot with 12:58 remaining in the half to take a 4-2 advantage. The Spartans' Jenna Hiponia notched a goal just over two minutes later as York trimmed the Sea Gull lead to one. The remaining 10:49 of the period was scoreless as there were only four shots attempted during that final stretch of the half.

The Spartans outshot the Sea Gulls 9-7 in the first 30 minutes while Salisbury held a slight 7-6 margin in ground balls. York also edged their hosts in draw controls, 4-3.

The second half proved to be a very different story. The Sea Gulls scored the first six goals of the period, pushing their lead to 10-3 with 22:56 left in the game. Spartan standout Kim Wayson stopped the run with an unassisted goal at the 21:16 mark but the Gulls scored the next three goals to push the lead to 13-4. Salisbury would go on to score four of the final five goals of the game, providing for the final margin.

Katie Bollhorst led all scorers as she recorded six points on four goals and two assists to pace the Gulls. Allie Wheatley added three goals and one assist while Amanda Holsclaw, Lauren Feusahrens and Baer each contributed two goals to the Salisbury offense.

Hiponia led the Spartans with two goals while Wayson, Mulford and Kerri Nicolich each contributed one goal. Katie Vautier paced York with five draw controls, four ground balls and four caused turnovers, as she was outstanding for the Spartan defense. Junior Leah Schultz added five draw controls of her own. Schultz broke the school record for career draws with her second of the night. She now owns the single season record (88) and the career record (183).

Ashton Weatley earned the win in goal for the Sea Gulls as she made six saves to earn the win. Kelsey Evans registered four saves for the Spartans in her 54:30 of action.

Salisbury finished the game holding a 26-15 edge in shots while they also recorded a 13-7 margin in ground balls. York did finish the contest with a 12-11 advantage in draw controls.

Salisbury was more efficient in free position shots as they went 2-for-3 while the Spartans converted just 1-of-5 for the game.

The Spartans must now wait to see if they earn an NCAA Tournament At-Large bid. York will be in search of their first-ever women's lacrosse NCAA Tournament bid. The Division III Women's Lacrosse announcement is scheduled for Sunday, May 6 at 9:30 pm on ncaasports.com.