LANCASTER, Pa. - Sixth-ranked York pulled away in the fourth quarter in a hard-fought 13-9 victory on Sunday at No. 7 Franklin and Marshall in the NCAA Second Round. Senior attacker Brendan O'Sullivan established the program's new single-season goal record in the fourth quarter with his 59th tally of the season.
#6/4 York 16-1
#7/7 Franklin & Marshall 8-1
How it happened
York scored on the opening possession of the game for the second-straight day and once again it was Jacob Wilhelm doing the honors. York jumped out to a two-goal lead when an Ethan Greene caused turnover turned into a Brendan O'Sullivan goal on the other end two minutes into the opening quarter. The Diplomats got one back after York coughed it up, but York would deliver the final blow of the first quarter. With time expiring on the game clock, Noah Bruno just threw a low shot through traffic from nearly 20 yards out that found the back of net to give the Spartans a two-goal advantage at the end of one period of play.
The Spartans stopped the Dips on their first three possessions to start the second quarter, but A.J. Rigsby found Blake Target in a soft spot in the middle for a quick shot that beat Jack Michael. York wasted no time getting the goal back, as Will Harnick found the back of the net on the ensuing possession following Vinny Facciponti's fourth face-off win of the day. Facciponti remained hot at the X and won the very next face-off which led directly to a Gavin Dembeck goal as York went ahead, 5-2, with 6:59 left in the second. The Diplomats did not go away quietly as they stopped York on back-to-back possessions and Rigsby tallied a pair of goals in the final 91 seconds of the half to cut the deficit to one heading into halftime.
After York turned it over on an errant pass on their first possession of the second half, the Diplomats made it hurt as they marched right down and netted the tying goal less than two minutes in. Harnick was ruled offside on the ensuing Spartan possession which put F&M on the man-advantage. York killed off the penalty, but the Diplomats maintained possession and scored the go-ahead goal just after York settled into full strength. The Diplomats were then called for an offside penalty of their own, putting York's top-10 ranked man-up unit to work and the Spartans made them pay as Michael Russo found Harnick for his sixth man-up goal of the season.
York regained the lead on their next possession as Eric Ranck scored on a sharp angle shot with two seconds left on the shot clock. Chandler Schmidt made it three goals on three-straight possessions as he ripped a laser to the back of the net to give York an 8-6 advantage with 5:21 left in the third. York's lead was short lived as F&M went on a non-releasable man-advantage and cashed in twice, tying the game, 8-8, just before the game went into a lightning delay with 3:29 left to play in the third quarter.
Coming out of the 36-minute delay, York began with possession and didn't miss a beat as Dylan Wolf blew a shot past Eric Mueller for the go-ahead goal with 2:26 left in the third quarter. F&M turned it over twice on the final three possessions as York maintained the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Ryan Kennedy forced a Diplomat turnover on the opening possession of the fourth quarter, which led to O'Sullivan finding the back of the net for the second time on the day and setting a new single-season program record with his 59th goal of the season. O'Sullivan's tally led to a three-goal Spartan run to open the fourth quarter with Wolf netting the third goal to give York the largest lead of the day, 12-8, with 6:58 left. Ranck tacked on another insurance goal with 3:50 left to play as the Spartans were content to bleed out the clock down the stretch to secure the victory.
The Spartans will face No. 1 Tufts on Saturday in the national quarterfinals with RIT serving as the host site.
The Spartans improve to 10-5 all-time in NCAA postseason games and have advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third-straight time and fourth overall … York is now 30-3 away from Kinsley Field since the start of the 2018 season, including a record of 3-1 in NCAA postseason games during that span ... York has won the last three meetings with the Diplomats as the Spartans improve to 3-1 all-time against F&M as the two teams met for the first time in the NCAA postseason ... F&M's 6-5 lead early in the third quarter marked just the second time this season York has trailed in the second half and just the fourth time all season the Spartans have faced a deficit … York's 13 goals is the most by an F&M opponent this season and just the third time the Diplomats have surrendered double-digits this season … a day after joining the 100-point club, Brendan O'Sullivan reached another milestone as he set the program's single-season goal record (59) with his fourth-quarter tally … O'Sullivan surpassed the previous record of 58 set originally by Tyler Hutson in 2013 and later matched by Brendan McGrath in 2017 … O'Sullivan established the new record in his 17th game of the season, while Hutson set the previous record in 17 games and Pfeiffer matched it in 21 games … for the second-straight game Vinny Facciponti won 15-plus face-offs and has averaged over 50 percent at the X in the last six-straight contests.