Mustangs Advance to Second-Straight CAC Championship
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Stevenson University men's lacrosse junior Steve Kazimer (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger), junior Richie Ford (Baltimore/Towson) and sophomore Jimmy Dailey (Westminster/Winter Mills) combined for 10 goals and 16 points as the No. 1-ranked Mustangs downed Wesley 19-4 Thursday in the semifinals of the CAC Men's Lacrosse Championship.
The win was the 12th in-a-row at home for the Mustangs (14-0) who advanced to the conference title game for the second consecutive season where they will face Salisbury for the second-straight year.
Dailey finished with seven points for the second time this season with four goals and three assists while Kazimer had three goals and two assists. Ford added three goals and one assist for his seventh hat trick of the season and fourth in as many games.
Unlike the first meeting between these two teams, a 12-11 Stevenson victory at home on March 28, Thursday's contest was never in doubt after the Mustangs scored the game's first 10 goals and led 9-0 at halftime.
The trio of Kazimer, Ford and Dailey combined for nine of the first 10 goals while totaling five assists.
Kazimer opened the scoring just over two minutes in when he scored off an assist from Dailey before returning the favor less than four minutes later.
Dailey had a hand in six of Stevenson's nine first half goals as he totaled four goals and two assists. Kazimer totaled all five of his points in the half while Ford added two goals.
The only other Mustangs to score in the first half were junior Nic Bevacqua (Boonton Township, N.J./Mt. Lakes), who scored his 24th goal of the season unassisted with 6:04 left in the second quater, and senior Chris Baldwin (Baltimore/Calvert Hall) who picked up an assist on Dailey's fourth goal of the half with only 50 seconds remaining.
Meanwhile, the Stevenson defense did its part, limiting the Wolverines (10-5) to just nine first half shots, forcing 14 turnovers and holding a 21-10 edge in ground balls.
The Mustangs, who outscored Wesley 7-1 in the third quarter to stretch its lead to 16-1, finished the game with a 45-24 advantage in shots and a 44-25 edge in ground balls while winning 19-of-27 faceoffs and limiting the Wolverines to only one extra-man goal in eight opportunities.
Baldwin and junior Tyler Maguire (Montauk, N.Y./Whittier College) each finished with one goal and one assist while Maguire and senior Brett Yoder (Parkton/Hereford) each had seven ground balls.
Junior Geoff Hebert (Lutherville/Dulaney) made nine saves in 49 minutes. Jim McCleaft had seven for the Wolverines who were led by Brad Smith's one goal and one assist.
After handing Salisbury its first conference loss since it joined the CAC in 1994 back on April 4, Stevenson will be looking to avenge last season's 20-10 loss to the Sea Gulls in the conference championship game.
Sunday's title game will begin at 1:00 p.m., at Stevenson's Caves Athletics Complex in Owings Mills. A limited number of 2,500 tickets have been made available so fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates will open at noon. For more information, please click here.