Stevenson Survives Late Rally, Advances to NCAA Semis
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - A 5-0 run late in the third quarter, highlighted by two man-up goals, broke a 5-5 tie and gave the No. 1-ranked Stevenson University men's lacrosse team a commanding 10-5 lead en route to an 11-9 victory over No. 2 Salisbury in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.
The win was the second in three meetings for the Mustangs (17-1) this season against the Sea Gulls and avenged their only home loss in 12 games at Caves Athletics Complex.
Salisbury (16-4), who had won the last two national championships and six of the last seven, is the only team to have won in Owings Mills the last two seasons as Stevenson has posted a record of 20-2.
This is the first time that the Sea Gulls have not reached the national semifinals since 2002 when they lost to No. 1 Gettysburg, 7-5.
Junior Steve Kazimer (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger) and sophomore Jimmy Dailey (Westminster/Winter Mills) each finished with a goal and three assists while senior Brett Yoder (Parkton/Hereford), who spent three seasons at Salisbury from 2005-07 and won two national titles, had three goals.
After the Mustangs took a 5-3 halftime lead, Salisbury scored back-to-back goals just nine seconds apart by leading scorers Kylor Berkman and Matt Cannone.
A two-time Division III Midfielder of the Year, Berkman finished the season with a team-high 83 points and 41 assists. However, in two losses against Stevenson this season, he was held to just two assists.
With the game tied at 5-5 following Cannone's team-leading 53rd of the season at 13:21, the Mustangs scored the game's next five goals, highlighted by two goals from Yoder and two assists from Dailey.
Junior Richie Ford (Baltimore/Towson) capped the 5-0 run with 12:49 left in the fourth quarter with his team-leading 41st goal of the season that proved to be the game-winner.
Mike Von Kamecke would score two of the Sea Gulls' final four goals, including the last with 1:36 remaining, but keyed by seven fourth quarter saves from junior Geoff Hebert (Lutherville/Dulaney), Stevenson was able to hold off Salisbury's late run and move one game closer to keeping the national championship trophy in the CAC.
Hebert finished with 14 saves, one shy of his career-high set in Saturday's second round victory over No. 15 Cabrini. He faced 15 fourth quarter shots as the Sea Gulls held a 15-8 edge after the Mustangs outshot them 34-21 through three quarters.
Stevenson also forced 23 turnovers, 11 of which were caused, while holding a 41-36 edge in ground balls.
Senior Chris Baldwin (Baltimore/Calvert Hall) had one goal and one assist for the Mustangs and finished with six ground balls, one behind Yoder's game-high seven.
Defensively, senior Mike Simon (Fallston/Fallston), sophomore Ian Hart (Chester, Pa./Ridley) and sophomore Evan Douglass (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) combined for eight of the team's 11 caused turnovers with Simon and Hart totaling three each.
Stevenson will host Gettysburg in Sunday's national semifinal after the No. 5 Bullets defeated No. 14 Denison at home Wednesday, 13-8. The game will be at 1:00 p.m., at Caves Athletics Complex where Stevenson handed Gettysburg a 16-6 loss back on March 4.