By Kristin Baitinger
This past weekend the Gettysburg Bullets pulled off a 12-9 upset over Stevenson, though the Mustangs can still claim a strong start with its 2-1 record. Starting off strong this season with a 2-0 record, they now claimed their first loss this season against the Bullets.
Sophomore defensive midfielder, Justin Tepper, and Junior goalie, Justin Scorese, gave some insights on the team this season and said faceoffs have been a big reason for Stevenson’s success.
“Definitely playing as one [team] and not as individuals has probably been one of the biggest things for us this year,” Scorese said.
A historically successful program, Tepper said the ‘Stang’s goal every year is to win the NCAA Division III Championship. But, he added, “this year especially, we want to win the MAC because [last year] was the first year we lost a game in the conference, and it happened to be the championship game,” Tepper mentioned. It would be great for the team to regain that title this year and the goal, like always, is to win the national championship.
On a typical day, the boys wake up each morning and get through all their classes before heading to the locker weight training. During the week they will also sit down and watch game films, both previous week and to study their upcoming opponent.
Despite the recent loss against Gettysburg, Head Coach Cantabene came to terms with some of the team’s strengths. Cantabene, who has been coaching at Stevenson for 18 years said, “we are a little tougher than we were a year ago and a little deeper. There are more guys in the midfield [have] helped us out.”
Using the same skills and work ethic that made him one of the greatest face-off specialists in lacrosse history (he was voted the top faceoff man in the first 10 years of Major League Lacrosse Cantabene) has passed on what he knows about the specialized skill to his Stevenson face-off group.
“I’m a big stickler about the fundamentals of facing off and really think that’s helped them and the whole team, realize how important it is for us to be successful,” Cantabene said.
With a large group of first-year students on the team this year, the Stangs have exceeded expectations.
“This class gives us a great base for the next few years.” Coach Cantabene said.