No. 15 Mustangs Battle Back, Fall at No. 8 Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md. – No. 15 Stevenson University was able to erase a four-goal deficit to tie the game late in the third quarter, but two goals in a 33-second span midway through the fourth quarter lifted eighth-ranked Salisbury University to a 9-7 non-conference men's lacrosse victory Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.

Stevenson (0-3) has seen all three of its losses come to teams ranked in the top eight of the USILA Division III poll, while the Sea Gulls (5-2) won their second in a row after dropping back-to-back games.

Stevenson trailed 7-3 with 2:48 left in the first half after Salisbury scored twice in under a minute, but cut the lead to 7-4 49 seconds before intermission on a goal by senior Kyle Karsian that made it a 7-4 game headed into the break. A man-up tally by junior JT Thelen 2:05 into the second half cut the Sea Gull advantage to 7-5.

Another man-up goal, Stevenson's fourth of the game, by freshman Jacob Tatum at the 6:02 mark, made it a one-goal game.  The Mustangs tied the game 7-7 with 1:53 left in the third on a Karsian goal just as another Salisbury penalty was expiring.

Salisbury broke its scoring drought of over 23 minutes on a transition goal following a turnover at midfield by Corey Gwin with 9:19 left in the fourth to retake the lead.  The hosts cashed in on a man-up opportunity after a penalty on the ensuing faceoff to go up 9-7 with 8:46 left.  Stevenson did have one final man-up chance with 2:30 left, a 60-second opportunity, but was unable to cash in.

Stevenson took a 1-0 lead 1:17 into the game as sophomore Ethan Christensen went top shelf to beat Salisbury goalie Brandon Warren.  The Mustangs maintained the lead until the 7:41 mark when a Gwin tally started a four-goal Sea Gull run over the next 2:39 to put the hosts up 4-1, with the last goal a man-up tally.  Salisbury led 4-1 after one quarter.

Both teams scored three times in the second quarter. The Mustangs cut the lead to 4-2 just over a minute into the frame on a man-up goal by junior Gray McKee.  The score was 5-3 at the 7:18 mark following a Tatum man-up goal, but two Sea Gull tallies less than a minute apart made it 7-3 with 2:48 left in the half. 

Salisbury outshot Stevenson 43-29, with Mustang sophomore goalie Sam Ross making 12 saves and Warren turning aside six shots.  Stevenson was hurt by 19 turnovers compared to 11 for the Sea Gulls, with the hosts recording 13 caused turnovers to four for Stevenson.  Both teams won 10 faceoffs.

Karsian and Tatum each finished with two goals, while Christensen and McKee each totaled a goal and two assists.  Thelen finished with a goal and an assist.  Christensen, senior Austin Howard and sophomore Justin Burnette each had four ground balls, with Burnette winning nine of 19 faceoffs. 

Garrett Reynolds led Salisbury with five goals.

Stevenson faces its fourth-straight ranked opponent to start the season Friday night, when it hosts No. 12 Dickinson in the first round of the Mustang Classic.  That game is slated for an 8:00 start at Mustang Stadium.