Stevenson men’s lax slays Alvernia 21-3

The Mustangs earned their fifth straight win Saturday night in MAC play against Alvernia University, improving to 8-5 overall (3-0 MAC)
Max Racich was one of many frequent goal-scorers in the Stangs last match against Alvernia University
Max Racich was one of many frequent goal-scorers in the ‘Stangs last match against Alvernia University
Sabina Moran

Men’s lacrosse has looked wicked as of late winning their last five straight, three of which were conference games including their last one on Saturday against the Golden Wolves of Alvernia University that ended 21-3.

Here are some notes and quotes from the surging Mustangs.

1. The Blowout

Stevenson’s stellar defense held Alvernia to zero points in both the first and third quarters. The Mustangs held the Golden Wolves to just 23 shots and caused 34 turnovers.

“I thought we played great against Alvernia,” junior Jack Scaliti wrote in an email interview. “There wasn’t an aspect of the game that we weren’t successful in. It was an all-around great team effort versus a team that plays hard every game.”

2. Connor Halpin wins MAC honor

It was another week with yet another Mustang being selected as Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) player of the week.

Senior faceoff specialist Connor Halpin won the award for his work the past week.

Halpin collected a team-high 13 ground balls this past week in the MAC wins over Hood and Alvernia. He won nine of 11 faceoffs at Hood before going 14-19 at home against the Golden Wolves. He also notched one goal in each contest. So far this season, Halpin boasts a team-high 122 ground balls and a .643 face-off percentage (189-298).

“Connor is a great teammate,” Scaliti wrote. “Very selfless, hardworking, and does whatever the team needs. Since I’ve been here, he hasn’t gotten the chance to shine, but now he is taking full advantage of his opportunities and having a dominant year. He’s battled injuries not only this year, but in the past too. Nobody deserves it more.”

Junior midfielder Grant Zick wrote about Halpin’s lacrosse skillset and his role as a friend and teammate.

“Connor Halpin has been amazing on the field, but he is equally as good of a teammate and person off the field,” Zick wrote in an email. “It’s amazing having him and knowing there’s a good chance we’re going to get the ball every faceoff.”

Senior midfielder Andrew Searing concurred.

“Connor has been an absolute beast at the X all year,” Searing wrote in an email. “Having Connor as a teammate is great, he is one of those teammates that is always there for the team and always is one of the hardest workers on and off the field.”

3. More Alvernia

Looking back at Saturday’s game, Stevenson used a familiar script in a dominating game that got started off with Zick being one of seven different Mustangs scoring on the 10-0 burst that dominated the first quarter going into the second quarter.

Sophomore Max Racich and Searing had two goals during the stretch. Meanwhile, freshmen Gavin Gossen, sophomore Brennan McKneely, junior Jered Monar, and junior Graeme McCrory all tallied one in the 10-0 run.

Alvernia opened their scoring with 2:10 left in the first half, but the Mustangs responded with two more before the half in the last 12 seconds thanks to Halpin and senior Thomas Bethune. The ‘Stangs led 12-1 at half.

Stevenson rolled through the start of the second half with ease as they continued their offensive dominance with a 7-0 streak through the entire third quarter into the fourth. Over the course of the run, Gossen led with a hat trick in the period. Racich notched two and Darrell Curtis joined the scoring and tallied two making it a 19-1 advantage.

As the fourth trotted along, in the final 12 minutes of the game, Alvernia scored two more, but that is where the scoring concluded for the Golden Wolves. Stevenson added two more goals thanks to Monar and senior Dillon Linhardt scored with 5:20 left in the game to make it the final 21-3.

Midfielder Grant Zick and the Mustangs are ready to tackle conference opponents in York College. Photo Sabina Moran

4. Looking ahead to York 

Looking ahead, Stevenson has four games remaining. Those opponents include York College of Pennsylvania, Messiah University, Albright College, and Widener University.

However, since York has joined the MAC there has been a deeper rivalry between the two teams more than any other conference opponents.

“The fact that we’re both now competing against each other for a championship brings out the best of the rivalry in both teams,” Scaliti said when asked about the Stevenson-York rivalry.

Searing, who returned this season from an injury last year, the game plan against York won’t change from past plans.

“We’re not going to do anything different just because they have beaten us in the past,” Searing said. “The Coaches have put together and really good game plan for us. They are a good team, but we are the better team overall. I will be going into this game with a little bit more of a chip on my shoulder than most other games we play because there is such a dislike for each other in this game, and I unfortunately had to watch both games that we played this team from the sidelines last year because of my injury.”

Zick had similar thoughts about the crucial matchup with York.

“We are going into this game and preparing just like we do every other but there is definitely a chip on our shoulder, and I think everyone has been looking forward to this one,” he said.

As the Mustangs roll through conference play, their biggest challenge faces them when they travel to York College of Pennsylvania to face the Spartans in a MAC Commonwealth Championship rematch Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson, Sports Digital Reporter
Ben is a senior communication studies major with a history minor. He is from Hanover, Pennsylvania. After college he hopes to pursue a career in journalism or sports journalism. Ben enjoys covering sports and is the sports digital reporter for the Villager.
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