YORK COLLEGE NOTES: Men's lacrosse team will try to make program history on Saturday

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
.

Saturday, the York College men’s lacrosse team will try to do something that's never been accomplished in program history — advance to the NCAA Division III national semifinals.

Standing in the way will be the top-ranked D-III team in the nation – the Tufts Jumbos, a program with a storied men’s lacrosse history.

The contest is slated to start at 4 p.m. Saturday in Rochester, New York.

York, the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth champion, will enter as the sixth-ranked team in D-III. The Spartans are coming off a 21-6 victory over Lasell in a first-round NCAA D-III contest and 13-9 win over Franklin & Marshall in a second-round NCAA tussle.

Advancing to the D-III quarterfinals is nothing new for York. Coach Brandon Childs' Spartans are making their third consecutive quarterfinal appearance. It’s York’s fourth quarterfinal appearance overall, but the Spartans have never made it to the semifinal round. The Spartans are 10-5 overall in NCAA D-III tournament competition.

Tufts, meanwhile, has three national D-III titles on its program resume, taking the crowns in 2010, 2014 and 2015. The Jumbos are in the NCAA playoffs for a 12th year in a row and 13th time overall. They own a 33-9 record in the tournament. Overall, Tufts has appeared in five NCAA D-III national championship games.

York is 16-1 this season, while Tufts, the New England Small College Athletic Conference champion, is 8-0.

The winner of Saturday’s York-Tufts game will meet the winner of Saturday’s other quarterfinal in Rochester pitting No. 3 Rochester Institute of Technology (11-0) against No. 16 Colorado College (13-3). That contest is set for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday.

The two quarterfinal winners will square off at 2 p.m. Sunday in Rochester in a semifinal contest.

OTHER YORK

COLLEGE NOTES

Spartans’ softball team starts NCAA D-III action on Friday: The York College softball team, fresh off its first-ever conference crown, will begin NCAA D-III playoff action on Friday in Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth champions will face No. 14 St. John Fisher in its opening game at 10 a.m. Friday.

It is York’s second-ever NCAA Division III berth after garnering an at-large bid in 2001.

The regional bracket in Erie will run from Friday through Monday in a double-elimination format, with Penn State-Behrend serving as the host site. The winner of the Erie Regional will advance to the NCAA Division III World Series.

The Spartans (18-9) earned the sixth seed in the six-team region. St. John Fisher is the No. 1 seed in the regional after the Cardinals (28-5) received an at-large bid out of the Empire 8.

The other teams in the region are: No. 2 SUNY Geneseo (16-8), No. 3 Rochester (31-8), No. 4 Penn State-Behrend (28-6) and No. 5 Stevens (22-8).

Susquehannock grad honored by MAC: Susquehannock High School graduate Conor Miller has been named the Middle Atlantic Conference Baseball Player of the Week.

Miller is a senior closer for the York College Spartans.

Miller led the Spartans to their first conference championship in 21 years last weekend when the Spartans swept Lebanon Valley in a best-three series to earn the MAC Commonwealth title. He was named the tournament MVP.

Miller recorded a six-out save in the first game of the series. He then then earned a win in the second game.

In the opener, Miller tossed two scoreless innings, allowing two hits, two walks and striking out a pair to earn his ninth save of the year. In the second game, Miller tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit with a strikeout to post his first victory of the year.

For the tournament, Miller made four appearances covering nine innings. He posted an ERA of 1.00, striking out eight, scattering eight hits and allowing one run. He picked up three saves over the course of York's seven MAC Commonwealth Tournament games.

Miller has helped York to a 28-6 overall record. By virtue of winning the conference crown, the Spartans have earned an NCAA D-III playoff berth. The details of York’s D-III tournament future will be announced Sunday. York is scheduled to play a regular-season doubleheader Saturday at Misericordia.

For the season, Miller has a 1.78 ERA over 25 1/3 innings with 25 strikeouts.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.