AMHERST, Mass. – The 2014 season for the #13 York College women's lacrosse team comes to a bitter ending in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament with 12-3 loss to #5 Amherst on Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans (15-5) found themselves in an early hole as Amherst (18-5) tallied two quick goals within the first six minutes of play.
York was able to fire back and cut the deficit to one after the Spartans' second-leading scorer, Sarah Castle (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis Christian), buried her 27th goal of the season.
Castle's goal would stand as York's lone goal in the first half as the Green and White saw the Jeffs tack on a total of seven goals in the 30 minutes and take a 7-1 lead into the locker room.
After being out-shot 13-7 in the first half, the Spartan offense did not get discouraged and matched the Jeffs' second-half shot total with 11. Despite the higher volume of shots, York was turned away by the Amherst defense on numerous occasions, either by a deflection off a defender's sick or one of Amherst's seven second-half saves.
York did manage to get on the score sheet in the second half as Megan Stine (Stevensville, Md. / Annapolis Area Christian) and Melissa Ritchey (Hampstead, Md. / North Carroll) each tallied their 15th goals of the season.
Despite allowing 12 goals to a stellar Amherst offense, senior captain goalkeeper Ashley Smith (Cinnaminson, N.J/Cinnaminson) recorded her third-highest save total of the season with 11 as she faced 24 total shots.
As the 2014 season comes to an end, the York College women's lacrosse program says goodbye to a group of nine seniors that finish their careers as the most successful senior class in program history.
Kristin Virag (Pottstown, Pa. / Owen J. Roberts), Kim Nicolich (Islip, N.Y./Islip), Erica Mulford (Crownsville, Md./Seton Keough), Jenna Hiponia (Annapolis, Md. / Annapolis Area Christian), Jocelyn Hudson (York, Pa./Central York), Kerri Nicolich (Islip, N.Y./Islip), Jess Soroka (Pasadena, Md. / Chesapeake Senior), Ashley Smith and Melissa Ritchey have compiled a record of 56-19, including the most wins in a single season with 15 (2014) and have helped compile a conference record of 23-6. They have made four appearances in the CAC Tournament, including three appearances in the championship game and have made three trips to the NCAA Tournament. This group was also part of the first team to make it to both the CAC championship game and the NCAA Tournament in program history.
Some of these seniors will end their careers ranked among the all-time statistical leaders in York College women's lacrosse history.
Hiponia finishes her career having played in 70 games, the fourth highest total in program history. She has accounted for 64 career points on 46 goals and 18 assists. Hiponia leaves with a .469 shot percentage, two game-winning goals, 35 ground balls 10 draw controls and 10 caused turnovers.
Ritchey completes her career ranked second all-time in assists with 60. The senior attacker exits with 107 points and 47 goals. She as recorded four game-winning goals, 34 ground balls, six draw controls and eight caused turnovers.
Hudson rounds out her two-year Spartan career ranked fifth in career draw controls with 96 and holds the second-highest single-season draw total with 81. She finishes her two-year career with York having played in 34 games, totaling 35 points on 32 goals and three assists, collecting 27 ground balls and causing 18 turnovers.
Kerri Nicolich ends her collegiate career having played in the second-most games with 73 and having started the fifth most games with 54. She closes out her career with 103 points on 85 goals and 18 assists. She has notched four game-winners, collected 51 ground balls, recorded 35 draw controls and caused 25 turnovers.
Smith ends a storied Spartan career as she owns both the best career save percentage (.498) and single-season save percentage (.512), in addition to recording the most single-season wins (15) in program history. She ranks second in goals-against average (8.13), career saves (278) and career wins (28), while ranking third in saves-per-game (6.45) and single-season saves with 163 (2014). Also, Smith has logged 2064:32 minutes in net, has picked up 54 ground balls and caused 12 turnovers.
Mulford finishes her Spartan career as one of the greatest offensive players to wear the Green and White. The program leader in games played (74) has also started the third-most games with 60. She ranks second in career points with 202 on a program third-best 155 goals and a third-best 47 career assists. Mulford ranks second with 10 career game-winning goals, including the second-highest single-season total twice with four (2013, 2014). The senior attacker also holds the third most career free-position goals with 34. In addition to her offensive numbers, Mulford has picked up 38 ground balls, collected 26 draw controls and caused 18 turnovers.
On behalf of the entire York College athletic department, we wish these nine young women the very best in their future endeavors and congratulate the 2014 women's lacrosse team on another outstanding season.
Erica Mulford photo courtesy of Derek Behrenshausen - Asst. Director of Athletic Communications