No. 17 Men's Lacrosse Begins Quest for Fifth Straight Conference Title Wednesday

No. 17 Men's Lacrosse Begins Quest for Fifth Straight Conference Title Wednesday

No. 17 Stevenson (11-5, 8-0 MAC Commonwealth) vs.
Widener (9-7, 5-3 MAC Commonwealth)
MAC Commonwealth Semifinal
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 7 pm
Owings Mills, Md. - Mustang Stadium (3,000)

COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF) 

SERIES HISTORY

•  Stevenson is 10-0 all-time against Widener in a series that dates back to 2009.  Last season in the regular season finale the Mustangs needed double overtime to defeat the Pride 7-6 at Mustang Stadium.  Pat Candon scored the game-tying goal with 12.9 seconds left in regulation, then Morgan Pritchett scored the game winner 51 seconds into the second overtime session.

          In this year's first meeting in Chester, Pa. on April 8, Stevenson led 9-5 heading into the final quarter before the Pride rattled off three straight goals to pull within one with 1:58 left.  Freshman Justin Burnette won the ensuing faceoff and Kyle D'Onofrio scored his fourth goal of the game at 1:10 to make it a two-goal game and account for the 10-8 final. 

ABOUT WIDENER

• The Pride are 9-7 and have won two straight games.  In the opening round of the MAC Commonwealth Championship Monday, Widener edged Lebanon Valley 12-11 after trailing 10-8 through three quarters.

PLAYOFF PERFECTION

• Stevenson is 8-0 all-time in the MAC Commonwealth Championship, winning the tournament title as the top seed in each of its first four seasons in the league.  Last season, the Mustangs downed Albright 21-4 in the semifinals and Messiah 10-3 in the final.  A fifth straight title would be the first time a conference team has won five in a row since Widener won five in the Middle Atlantic Conference from 1996-2000.

          Dating back to its time in the Capital Athletic Conference, Stevenson has appeared in nine straight conference title games, as it reached the CAC final every year from 2008-12.

TOUGH SCHEDULE

•  The Mustangs are known for annually playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, and this season is no exception.  Seven Stevenson's opponents are ranked in this week's USILA Top 20, with another receiving votes.

DeFAZIO, CANTABENE HONORED BY LEAGUE, EIGHT NAMED ALL-CONFERENCE

•  Junior Dominic DeFazio was named the MAC Commonwealth Defensive Player of the Year as the league released its All-Conference teams Tuesday, while head coach Paul Cantabene was named MAC Commonwealth Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, with the first coming in 2013.  DeFazio, Kyle D'Onofrio, JT Thelen and Justin Burnette were tabbed as First Team members, while Wade Korvin, Jacob Brown, Kyle Karsian and Dylan Harris were picked to the Second Team.

SCORING IN BUNCHES

•  Wade Korvin scored a career-best eight goals in April 1st's win at Arcadia.  That marks the most in a game by a Mustang since Mark Pannenton had eight goals against Hood on March 23, 2013.  It is also one shy of the single-game scoring record of nine goals set by Steve Kazimer on April 11, 2008 against Hood.

IMPROVEMENT AT THE X

•  Last season, Stevenson won 53.8% of its faceoffs, but just 45.1% in non-conference games, most of those against nationally-ranked opponents.  This season, the Mustangs are winning faceoffs at a 60.0% clip.

WE'RE HONORED

•  Five players have won MAC Commonwealth weekly awards this season.  Senior goalie Ross Dinan was named Defensive Player of the Week twice, on March 6 and April 10.  Senior Kyle D'Onofrio was named the league's Offensive Player of the Week March 20 after totaling seven goals and two assists at the Mustang Classic.  The week of April 3, the Mustangs swept the weekly awards as Wade Korvin was named Offensive Player of the Week while Dominic DeFazio earned Defensive Player honors.  This week (May 1), JT Thelen was named Offensive Player of the Week, while DeFazio earned his second Defensive award. 

NATIONAL RECOGNITION

•  A pair of players have been honored by the USILA this season with Player of the Week awards.  Ross Dinan was named USILA South Defensive Player of the Week on March 8, while on April 5, Wade Korvin received South Offensive Player of the Week honors.

        Senior Kyle D'Onofrio was also featured on ESPN Sportscenter's "Top 10" following the Lycoming game on April 4.  His behind the back goal late in the first half was the day's No. 7 play and can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDSFXwVAHR4

SENIOR SALUTE

•  Before April 18's game, the Mustangs honored 14 seniors playing in their final regular season home game.  The seniors being honored are John Berthcsi, Jacob Brown, Tom Brown, Drew Cormode, Kyle D'Onofrio, Ross Dinan, Tyler Fuhrman, Jeremy Goltz, Wade Korvin, Nathaniel LeQuang, Ethan McMillan, Sean Ohlhaver, Morgan Pritchett and Parrish Young.  Over the past four years the Mustangs have compiled a 61-18 (.772) record.

NCAA STREAK

•  Stevenson has qualified for the NCAA Tournament field in each of the past eight seasons.  Only six other schools have qualified for the NCAAs every year during that span (Cabrini, SUNY-Cortland, Montclair State, Salisbury, Springfield, Tufts) 

CONFERENCE CALL

•  Since joining the MAC Commonwealth prior to the 2013 season, Stevenson is 40-0 during the regular season against conference foes, and has won all four conference titles over that span.  Prior to that, the Mustangs were members of the Capital Athletic Conference and the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference.  Paul Cantabene has compiled an 91-7 (.929) mark in conference play.

GOING TO THE POLLS

•  Since March 3, 2008, the Stevenson men's lacrosse team has appeared in 117 of the last 118 USILA Top 20 polls.  The Mustangs had appeared in the poll 97 straight weeks before dropping out on week 3 of last season, but it was a one-week absence as Stevenson was No. 20 in the next poll.  Stevenson has been in the top 10 in 95 of those 118 polls. 

HOME SWEET HOME

•  Since the Stevenson men's lacrosse team moved into Mustang Stadium for the 2012 season, the Mustangs are 67-15 (.817) at home.  Stevenson was 28-2 at home over the first two seasons, and last season posted a 9-5 mark.

GETTING SOCIAL 

•  Stevenson athletics can be found on Facebook by searching for "Stevenson University Mustang Athletics" or on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @GoMustangSports.  Stevenson men's lacrosse can be found on Twitter at @StevensonLax.

MUSTANG SPORTS NETWORK

•  All Stevenson men's lacrosse home games can be seen and heard on the Mustang Sports Network.  To watch, simply visit www.gomustangsports.tv, or visit the Stevenson University Athletics Roku channel.  To listen to the broadcast of any home game, simply visit sfmsports.net.

     Head coach Paul Cantabene appears weekly on the Paul Cantabene Show on www.gomustangsports.com each Monday night during the season.  The show is available on the athletics website as well as on the Stevenson Roku channel, YouTube channel and Facebook page.