Men’s lax crowned MAC Champions

Stevenson men’s lacrosse earns program’s first conference title in five years, 10th overall, dominate Eastern 21-3, to face Union College (NY) to start NCAA tournament run
Mens lax crowned MAC Champions

Men’s lacrosse is going dancing!

Stevenson men’s lacrosse team is now just five wins away from their first national championship since 2013.

The Mustangs shift their focus to the NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse tournament as they will travel to Schenectady, New York to face Union College at 3 p.m. Saturday in the second round.

This is the Mustangs’ 13th appearance in the tournament in school history, but their first appearance in the tournament since 2021. Stevenson earned a first-round bye this weekend by dominating Eastern 21-3 in the Middle Atlantic Conference title game at Mustang Stadium.

“It is the best feeling to win a game like that,” said fourth-year defender Jack Seals. “It’s been three years since we have been in the NCAA tournament, and I’ve been chasing that feeling of playing for a national title ever since.”

Stevenson is one of 40 teams in the DIII bracket but the only team from the MAC to qualify. York, the top seed in the MAC tournament, lost in the semifinals to Eastern, 11-10.

Opposite Stevenson and Union in the Schenectady region are Illinois Wesleyan and Aurora College of Illinois, who will play Wednesday for the right to take on Tufts on Saturday. The SU-Union winner will take on the Tufts-Aurora/Illinois Wesleyan winner 3 p.m. on Sunday for a berth to the final eight.

 MAC Champions for the first time in five years!

Jack Scaliti celebrates with teammates after Stevenson’s 21-3 victory over Eastern in the men’s lacrosse MAC Championship at Mustang Stadium. (Emma Hartman)

The team’s monumental win against Eastern in the MAC championship game made Saturday night a truly special night for Stevenson as the Mustangs captured their first MAC title in five years in dominating style.

The Stangs dominated both sides of the ball whether it was clears, shots, faceoffs, ground balls or even causing turnovers. They led in every category.

Adjustments had to be made at the faceoff as senior Conor Halpin went down with an injury in the team’s MAC semifinal win against Messiah on Wednesday, May 1. Therefore, the faceoff duties were turned to first-years Bradley Bennett and Connor Dunay. Between the two of them, they totaled 22 wins as Bennett went 14-15 and Dunay went 8-11.  The team was nearly perfect clearing the ball going 21-22, and perfect in three out of four quarters of play.

Stevenson blistered Eastern goalkeepers with 58 shots versus their 21 shots, just slightly over a team average of 53 shots per game this season.

First-year attack Darrell Curtis led the Mustangs with seven points (5 goals and 2 assists), capping off a week where he scored 11 goals total for the week, helping him earn MAC Commonwealth Men’s Lacrosse Tournament MVP.

The Mustangs’ attacking onslaught was led by first-years Curtis, Gavin Gossen and Hunter Bryant; second-year Max Racich; third-year Grant Zick and fourth-years Dillon Linhardt, Andrew Searing and Jack Scaliti.

“We preach ‘Family,’ and I think that last night truly proved how Stevenson lacrosse is a family,” Seals said.

Stevenson’s men’s lacrosse team gathers on the turf at Mustang Stadium after their 21-3 victory Saturday against Eastern in the MAC Championship game. The Mustangs earned a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament championship with the win. They will play Union College in Schenectady, New York on Saturday, May 11. (Emma Hartman)
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About the Contributors
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.
Emma Hartman
Emma Hartman, Sports Photographer
Emma is a junior communication studies major with a minor in event planning. Outside of taking photos for The Villager, Emma also works for Stevenson Athletic Communications, NAVY Athletic Communications and is the social media manager for the Stevenson men's ice hockey team. Emma's goal after graduation is to do social media for a professional sports team.
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