Seahawks Survive Late York Rally to Reach CAC Title Game

York, Pa. St. Mary's withstood a 5-1 run by York in the fourth quarter to come out on top with a 10-9 victory Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2013 CAC tournament.

Sophomore midfielder Will Lerch (Lothian, Md./Calverton), who has not scored a goal since April 6, came up big for the Seahawks as Lerch netted the would-be game-winning goal with 10:28 remaining in the game. Both offenses were quiet for the next six minutes until sophomore attackman Tyler Hutson (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) finally broke through for York, bringing them within two at 4:03.

Hutson made the game even more interesting with his 58th goal of the season with just 10 seconds on the clock for a one-goal St. Mary's lead. The Spartans' junior midfielder Daniel Schuck (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) won the ensuing face-off as junior attackman James Lowe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) picked up the loose ball. Time ran out before York could get a shot off.

The third-seeded Seahawks (11-6), who has won the conference crown in 1993 and 1994, are now headed to next Saturday's CAC Championship game at top-seeded Salisbury University. This is St. Mary's first trip to the title game since 2007. Today's victory also marks the first time since 2004 that the Seahawks have won 11 games in a season.

Lerch and junior captain Gordy Long (Monkton, Md./St. Paul's) paced the well-balanced Seahawk offense with two goals apiece while sophomore midfielder Tim Perugini (Stony Brook, N.Y./Ward Melville) added a goal and an assist. Senior midfielder Albert Mitchell (Shrewsbury, Md./Saint John's) contributed to the win by controlling face-off X, posting a 14 of 22 effort and scooping up seven ground balls, and chipping in his first goal of the season.

St. Mary's outscored the Spartans (13-4), 6-3, in the first half as the Seahawks posted a 2-1 lead in the first period behind goals by Long and Lerch and then notched a 4-2 edge in the second quarter. The visitors scored twice in a 14-second span as senior attackman Patrick Mull (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and Mitchell broke through the Spartan defense.

York turned the tables in the second half of the game with a 7-4 scoring margin. The Seahawks dominated the third period with a 3-1 run to boast a 9-4 advantage through three quarters of play. The Spartans opened up the final 15 minutes of play with three unanswered goals, including two from first-year attackman Andrew Gamble (Easton, Md./Easton), to come within 9-7 at 11:05 before Lerch found the back of the net to return a three-goal lead to St. Mary's.

The Spartans outshot St. Mary's, 40-31, the Seahawks won the ground ball battle by a 32-27 margin. St. Mary's defense was solid today as the unit killed nine of York's 10 extra-man opportunities. Senior goalkeeper Scott Marsh (Crofton, Md./South River) improved to 9-2 on the season with 14 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter, while picking up three ground balls.

Hutson led the Spartans with four goals and two assists while first-year Caleb Abney (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) turned away 14 shots.

2013-04-27



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