DOVER, Del. - Wesley College jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but needed to weather a feverish comeback by York (Pa.) in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament.
With the win, the Wolverines (10-4) will advance to the semifinals to face top seeded and top ranked Stevenson on April 16.
Justin D'Alonzo (Prospect Park, Pa./Interboro) gave Wesley an early lead with an assist from Brad Smith (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill) at 12:12. The score stayed 1-0 until the Wolverines scored five times in a span of 3:26 later in the first. Joe Trezza (King's Park, N.Y./King's Park) started the rally with 6:50 to go in the opening stanza, followed by scores by Rob King (Howell, N.J./Howell), Justin Thompson (Pasadena, Md./North East), and Smith before Thompson finished it with a goal with 3:24 left on the clock.
Another goal by Thompson to open the scoring extended the lead to 7-0 with 11:52 remaining in the half. Ryan McNicholas scored 40 seconds later to get the Spartans (7-7) on the scoreboard and then found the back of the net again three and a half minutes later to make it a five goal difference.
Nick Pisacano (King's Park, N.Y./King's Park) scored just under the 6:00 mark and York's Josh Gamble got a goal with just 16 seconds left to make it 8-3 at the half in favor of Wesley.
The Wolverines opened the second half with a 3-0 run to make it 11-3 with 7:22 left in the third after scores by Smith, D'Alonzo and Trezza. Mike LaRoque scored for the Spartans and Smith entered his third tally of the contest to keep the Wesley lead at eight before York closed the period with goals by Gamble and McNicholas in the final 1:31 to make it 12-6 heading into the fourth.
Gamble scored two more times in the first three minutes of the fourth to bring the Spartans to within four, 12-8, with 12:03 left in the game.
Bradford Blaker scored his only goal of the game before Thompson halted the 6-1 run with his fourth goal of the game to make it 13-9 with 6:39 left.
York was not finished, however. Goals by Adam Cooper and McNicholas in the next two minutes made it just a two-goal game, 13-11, with 4:47 remaining.
The Spartans could get no closer, committing three penalties in the final 2:38, playing a man down from that point on until just 12 seconds remained.
Pisacano finished the day with one goal and five assists for a game-high six points. Thompson added four goals and an assist for five points. Smith had three goals and an assist.
Kirk Waldie (Folsom, Pa./Ridley) had 11 ground balls and forced five turnovers. Jim McCleaft (Media, Pa./Sun Valley) made 11 saves.
Gamble and McNicholas had matching scoring lines with four goals and an assist for each. Zach Scherr won 16-of-24 face offs and had 10 ground balls. Chris Collins had nine saves.
The victory was the Wolverines 10th of 2009, marking the third time in the past four seasons Wesley has reached double digits.