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York Catholic spoils South Western's senior night at the Corral

South Western's senior night didn't go quite the way the Mustangs planned.

Playing under the lights at the Corral for the first time this season, South Western came out fired up but couldn't hang with York Catholic.

The Irish held South Western (4-9, 2-8 YAIAA Division I) scoreless for a 20-minute span, then held off a late Mustangs rally on their way to a 14-9 victory.

Unfortunately for the Mustang faithful that braved the near-freezing temperatures, playing under the lights energized the Irish (5-7, 4-6 YAIAA Division I), too, York Catholic head coach Shane Harper said.

"We love playing under the lights because we don't get to at York Catholic," Harper joked. "So, there was definitely a good energy tonight."

Luke Brennan scored three first-half goals, and Tanner Yanick added three assists as the Irish took a 7-3 lead into the half. The teams alternated goals until York Catholic went on a 3-0 run late in the first quarter.

Anthony DeVincent, who finished with five goals to add to his league-leading total, found the back of the net with six seconds left in the first quarter, cutting the lead to 5-3. But that would be the last Mustangs goal until Justus Coury scored with four minutes left in the third quarter — a 20-minute scoring drought.

"We had some good opportunities in that time period, but we just weren't finishing our opportunities," South Western head coach Gary Hartsock said. "Their defense did a good job of pressuring our guys and disrupting our offense."

An illegal stick penalty put the Mustangs a man down for three minutes to open the second quarter. The Irish took advantage, pushing the momentum squarely in York Catholic's favor. Yanick assisted on a Tommy Bowser goal, then Brennan scored moments later.

"He's a very well-rounded player, and he was big for us," Harper said of Yanick. "He's also a great shooter and great face-off guy for us."

The Irish extended the lead to 10-3 with three goals in the first five minutes of the second half.

Trailing by six with one quarter left for their seniors to play in front of the home crowd, the Mustangs started to muster a rally. First, Kyle Mills scored, cutting the lead to 11-6. Then DeVincent answered a Brennan goal with two of his own, and all of a sudden it was a 12-8 game with five minutes remaining.

"The good thing is we didn't quit," Harper said. "DeVincent is a really, really good lacrosse player, and we were struggling. It's a good thing we didn't quit or they could've ran away with it."

The Irish tacked on two more goals, essentially robbing the Mustangs of any potential late-game heroics. But in a chippy, emotional game that nearly got away from his team, Hartsock was proud of the way his team battled, he said, and that is a reflection of their senior leaders.

"These seniors showed that the game is never over, and you have to play every minute you're on that field," Hartsock said of his five-member senior class. "We're going to miss their leadership and effort. We played with a tremendous amount of effort, and we didn't quit tonight. We just came across a team that played better than us."

York Catholic 14, South Western 9

York Catholic5243—14South Western3024—9

York Catholic goals — Luke Brennan 4, Jacob Norton 3, Tommy Bowser 2, Eddie Smith 2, Eli Doyle, Steven Nigro, Alex Lloyd

York Catholic assists — Tanner Yanick 4, Bowser 2, Norton 2, Smith

South Western goals — Anthony DeVincent 5, Kyle Mills, Justus Coury, Carson Perry, Jacob Muir

South Western assists — DeVincent, Coury

Shots on goal — YC 28, SW 17

Goalies — YC, Alex Reichart (8 saves), SW, Nick Raynor (14 saves)