Stevenson’s men’s lacrosse team is finishing their season strong, to say the least.
The last seven games have been a huge success for the Mustangs, as they pushed their earlier season win-loss record of 5-6 to 11-6, starting with a win against Messiah College on April 14. To add to that, the team is now sitting on an 8-0 record in Middle Atlantic Conference-Commonwealth play.
With their current record of 11-6, the Mustangs secured first place in the conference, now 48-0 in in MAC regular season games. Dylan Harris, a senior defenseman, currently injured, commented how the team has been “peaking at the right time” this season, with some of the younger players stepping up and “embracing the moment.”
The Mustangs beat Messiah 22-7 on April 14, Arcadia University 21-10 on April 21, and routed Hood College 33-7 on April 24, the last of which set a single-game program record for most goals scored in a game. The new record of 33 beats out the record that the Mustangs also previously set– 32 goals in a single game — set earlier this season against Alvernia College.
Said head coach Paul Cantabene, “We weren’t trying to break any records, but that’s just kind of the way it happened.” He also mentioned how it was nice to see some of the younger players on the team really getting into the game and playing well.
That’s not to say the team hasn’t had any close scrapes in the past five games. Their 9-7 victory against Lebanon Valley College on April 18, and more recently a close 11-10 win on April 27 against Widener University, left some room for improvement.
A slow start against Lebanon Valley left the Mustangs trailing 6-3 at halftime. However, Stevenson outscored the Dutchmen 6-1 in the second half for the victory. Against Widener, the Mustangs could not score in the final quarter, which left some room for Widener to edge back into the game. Goalie Sam Ross‘ 13 saves helped the Mustangs hold on to the win.
Cantabene noted that the Lebanon Valley game wasn’t their best, but even so, he rounded off the comment with how the team responded well to the results of that game helped them to “pick up their level of play.”
“It really energized them,” said Cantabene, “and helped them to understand how you can’t take everybody for granted.”
The coach added that some of the new freshman have been doing a great job, but that it’s still a process for them, since they have to get adjusted to a college-style game.
The Mustangs are moving on to their sixth MAC Commonwealth Championship after defeating Lycoming College 22-7 on May 2. Sophomore Ethan Christensen led the way, scoring eight goals and had two assists. Junior JT Thelen followed up with six goals and an assist. The top-seeded Mustangs will host third-seeded Widener University on May 5 at 7 p.m. in the MAC Commonwealth Championship at Mustang Stadium.