Wednesday will be a very important day for the York College men's lacrosse program.
The Spartans are enjoying the finest season in the 17-year history of the program. They are 13-2 overall and ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division III by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
Wednesday afternoon, however, one the perennial powers in D-III lacrosse will visit Kinsley Field for a 4 p.m. Capital Athletic Conference showdown.
The Salisbury University Sea Gulls will invade York as the top-ranked team in D-III, boasting a perfect 15-0 overall mark.
Both teams enter unbeaten in CAC action, with Salisbury at 7-0 and York at 6-0. A Salisbury win will give the Sea Gulls the CAC regular-season title, while York can clinch at least a tie for the regular-season crown with a win. The top seed in the upcoming CAC Tournament will also be at stake.
It could be easily argued that this will be the most important men's lacrosse game that York has ever played on Kinsley Field.
The task in front of the Spartans will not be easy. Since 1994, Salisbury has won 10 D-III national titles and 19 CAC crowns. York has yet to win a CAC championship.
In addition, York has never beaten Salisbury, going 0-21 over the years, including two losses last season by a combined score of 35-10.
This year's York team, however, appears to be the Spartans' best ever. They were ranked as high as No. 4 in D-III before a loss to Stevenson on Friday.
Head coach Brandon Childs has transformed the program since his arrival in 2012. This year he became the program's all-time winningest head coach and he boasts a career record of 61-27 at York.
Still, based on rankings, history and statistics, Salisbury would appear to have the edge. York is outscoring its foes 12.5-6.2 per game, while the Sea Gulls outscore their opponents, 17-3-6.2. They have 10 common foes, with York compiling an 8-2 mark against those teams, while Salisbury is 10-0. York has outscored those foes, 12.3-8.1, while Salisbury's advantage vs. the common opponents is 17.9-6.0.
York's leading scorers are Andrew Gamble (28 goals, 15 assists), Hunter Davis (22 goals, nine assists), Dillon Hannah (19 goals, 12 assists) and Austin Glab (16 goals, 13 assists). Josh Kluver leads the defense with 41 ground balls, while goalie Caleb Abney is 12-1 with a 61.3 save percentage.
Salisbury's top guns are Thomas Cirillo (41 goals, 24 assists) and Nathan Blondino (37 goals, 24 assists), while Joshua Dean has seen the most action in goal for Salisbury, going 8-0 with a .515 save percentage.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.