The Stevenson University men’s lacrosse team has been preparing for the 2019 campaign through their off-season. Head coach Paul Cantabene is returning for his 15th season at Stevenson and welcomes defenseman Dominic Anthony DeFazio as the team’s captain.
The team has seen much improvement over the past few years and continues to excel each season, said Cantabene. Their improvement has been proven through an increase not only in wins, but in their performance.
Through this year’s preseason the team saw growth and started off ranked within the top 20 Division III teams in the nation. Despite some early losses to top-10 teams, the Mustangs are hopeful for another good season, said Cantabene. A string of losses through the first five games in March, the Mustangs face top-tier lacrosse opponents, including Gettysburg College, Salisbury University, Lynchburg College, York College, and Tufts University.
The team is looking forward to bringing home the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship this year, and with wins against Hood College (21-5) and Albright College (20-4), the Mustangs are on the right road. Senior attack JT Thelen was named to the USILA Division III Team of the Week for the week of April 1, the second time this season he has been so named. He was also named the MAC Commonwealth Offensive Player of the Week, with 13 goals and two assists in a week where the Mustangs went 2-0.
The team has been practicing non-stop, trying out new and old plays and working to play more cohesively. Cantabene said that the team has a strong offensive end and he is excited about how the team will perform through the rest of the season He explained he has seen the performance and leadership on the team increase over the past three years in both the rookies and the upperclassman.
The team has welcomed several new players this season, including freshman attack Connor Nelson from New Harford, New York. Nelson said, “I’m looking forward to putting all of our hard work that was done in the off-season into effect and hopefully make a deep run in May.” He is excited for the season and is hopeful the skills they learn and execute in practice will translate to their games.
Not only are the coaches and team members expecting a strong season, the Mustangs’ fans are looking forward to strong season. Stevenson sophomore and lacrosse fanatic, Demarcus Crawford, said he is looking forward to a “bigger and better season for the team,” adding that he is definitely filled with school spirit this spring. “I can’t wait to see the team show off on the field for another season,” he said.
The Mustangs’ next home game is slated for Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. To stay up to date with the lacrosse team, visit gomustangsports.com.