YORK, Pa. – The #15 York College women's lacrosse team advances to the Capital Athletic Conference Championship following an 11-6 victory over St. Mary's College (Md.) in the CAC Tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Kinsley Field.
Today's contest unfolded much like the previous meeting between these two squads less than two weeks ago as York (13-4) used a big first-half performance to take full control of the game. Last time, the Spartans held a 9-3 lead at halftime with a 23-8 shot advantage and a 10-3 lead in draw controls. Today, York posted similar numbers with an 8-2 halftime lead to go along with a 19-8 shot advantage and a 9-2 advantage on the draw.
St. Mary's (13-5) struck first with a goal less than two minutes into the game by the conference's leading scorer in Tori Poffenberger as she tallied her 51st goal of the season. From then on it was all York to round out the first half as the Spartans once again put together a seven-goal run on the Seahawks.
York started the run with a pair of goals by Sarah Castle (Annapolis, Md. / Annapolis Area Christian) and Lily Damalouji (Prince Frederick, Md. / Calvert) coming off a pair of Seahawk turnovers. York tallied its third goal of the game directly off the draw when Katelyn Cattrano (Manchester, Md. / Manchester Valley) finished on a pass from Allison Kolacy (Rockaway, N.J. / Morris Knolls).
Jayme Verman (York, Pa. / Lancaster Country Day) extended the lead to four as she scored back-to-back goals just before the midway point of the first half. The scoring pace slowed down after Verman's pair as the two sides went nearly 10 minutes without a goal, but that changed when Kolacy fought through traffic and finished from close range on the left wing for her 18th goal of the season. York put another tally on the board nearly a minute later on a free-position goal by Rachel Saks (Baltimore, Md. / Catonsville) after she was denied on a shot earlier in the possession.
The Seahawks finally managed to stop the Spartan scoring run as they stopped a free-position shot by Verman and transitioned down the field where Shelby Newman set up Abbey Harrison for their second goal of the game with 1:02 left in the first half.
With a just over a minute left to play in the half, there was still enough time to put another goal on the board and Kelly Curran (North Massapequa, N.Y. / Plainedge) did just that as she delivered a dagger with just three seconds to spare. Curran finished from close range on the right wing as she ripped a perfectly placed shot to the upper left corner that gave York a commanding 8-2 lead at halftime.
The Spartans put the game on cruise control in the second half, but still stayed aggressive offensively as evidence of a 14-9 shot advantage. Verman and Castle tallied goals once again and Melissa Meehling (Monkton, Md. / Hereford) finished on a free-position attempt for her eighth goal of the season.
Rachel Donovan (Ellicott City, Md. / Howard) performed exceptionally well in net for the Spartans as she recorded a career-high eight saves, four of which came on free-position shots.
With the win today, the Spartans will face #9 Salisbury in the CAC Championship next Saturday in Salisbury, Md. This will be the fourth straight year the two schools have met in the championship game.
Photo courtesy of Joe Rodgers