SALISBURY, Md. - Mike Winter scored his game-high fourth goal of the game just 1:59 into overtime to send Salisbury to its fourth national championship game at M&T Bank Stadium as the Sea Gulls handed Stevenson a 14-13 loss Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.
The loss snapped a 14-game road win streak for the Mustangs (19-2) and was their first at Sea Gull Stadium since a 20-10 defeat on April 20, 2008.
While Stevenson finished one game short of its goal by making its second-straight appearance in the national semifinals, it doesn't diminish its record-setting accomplishments over the last two seasons.
During that time, the Mustangs have gone 36-4, posting a school record for wins in both seasons and finishing the year ranked No. 1 while winning the school's first CAC championship.
"I think we proved we're not a fluke," said head coach Paul Cantabene. "It was a great year and we are going to build on it. We lost to one team."
"It is definitely developing into a good rivalry," said Salisbury head coach Jim Berkman. "There has been a lot of great games and a lot of great crowds. A lot of college lacrosse players would love to play in an atmosphere like this. The teams are really close."
Sunday featured a 54-minute lightning delay with Salisbury leading 8-6 with 13:32 remaining in the third quarter. Following the delay, CAC Player of the Year Sam Bradman scored his first point with an unassisted goal to push the lead to three.
However, Stevenson responded with the first of two, three-goal rallies to tie the game at 9-9 behind unassisted goals from senior Tyler Maguire (Montauk, N.Y./East Hampton), senior Steve Kazimer (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger) and junior Kyle Moffitt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East).
Matt Cannone scored back-to-back goals off assists from Mike Von Kamecke before Bradman added his second unassisted tally to push the lead back to three with 1:58 left in the third.
Cannone and Von Kamecke combined for 11 points with each contributing three goals. Von Kamecke scored all three of his goals during Salisbury's 4-0 second quarter run that erased a two-goal deficit and gave the team a 7-5 advantage.
Stevenson mounted its second, three-goal comeback on a man-up goal by junior Neal Barthelme (Towson/Dulaney) right before the end of the third quarter. The Mustangs finished the game 3-of-9 on extra-man opportunities.
Senior Geoff Hebert (Lutherville/Dulaney), who totaled 49 saves in Stevenson's first NCAA championship victories, made two big stops to start the fourth quarter while goals by junior Richie Ford (Baltimore/Towson) and sophomore Andrew McCrumb (Elkridge/Mount Saint Joseph) tied the game at 12-12 with 12:32 to play.
Not to be outdone, Hebert's counterpart, Johnny Rodriguez, made two point blank saves, including the second on Kazimer who scooped the first rebound right on the crease, before Winter put the Sea Gulls back in front, 13-12.
A caused turnover by senior Christian Clark (Arnold/Mount Saint Joseph) and the corresponding ground ball by junior Evan Douglass (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) led to a Stevenson timeout and a behind-the-back goal from Ford to tie the game for the seventh time at 13-13 with just 1:51 left in regulation.
The Mustangs had a chance to win in regulation, but after working the clock down to the waning seconds, a desperation shot by Kazimer went wide with two seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.
"We wanted to take the last shot," said Kazimer. "I got the shot, I just didn't put it on the cage."
Sunday marked the second time in school history that Stevenson had played back-to-back overtime games with the previous coming in 2005. That year, the team also won the first and lost the second.
Junior Ray Witte (Annapolis/St. Peter and Paul), who won 12 of the game's final 16 face-offs over the second half and overtime, gave the Mustangs the first possession in overtime, but Moffitt was stripped by Connor Burgasser.
Following a Salisbury timeout, Winter's scored his team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season on a feed from Bradman with 2:01 remaining in overtime.
Kazimer finished with three points to set a new single-season school record with 95 while Ford totaled three goals to finish with 58 this season, one shy of his school record set in 2008.
Meanwhile, Witte set a new school record with 300 face-off wins this season while totaling a record 168 ground balls, including 16 on Sunday, one shy of the single-game record.
"We really respect their program," said Cantabene. "They were the better team today. We want to be where they are and we feel we are real close. We were just one shot away today."
"We will learn from this experience coming back and we will be better next year."