GRANTHAM, Pa. - For the first time in two seasons in the Commonwealth Conference, the Stevenson women's lacrosse team fell as the Mustangs had their nine-game winning streak snapped as Messiah posted a 14-8 victory Tuesday afternoon at Anderson Field.
After today's results, there is now a three-way tie for first place in the conference as the Mustangs, Falcons and Lebanon Valley are all 5-1. All three teams have clinched a playoff spot with one conference game remaining.
It was the only the second time in 14 games in the league that the Mustangs (10-5, 5-1) have allowed more than 10 goals. Elizabethtown scored 12 a season ago.
Messiah (9-6, 5-1 MAC) jumped out to a 4-1 lead as the Falcons scored two free-position goals, including the first of the game just 1:06 into the contest. It was just the second time in the last nine games that Stevenson has not scored first.
The Mustangs (10-5, 5-1 MAC) would cut the deficit to just two as junior Kathryn Merrick scored her first of two goals on the day. However, that would be as close as Stevenson would get as Messiah four of the next six goals to end the first half leading 8-4.
The Falcons opened the second half on a 3-0 run, including a goal by Lizzy Keeney after the fifth Mustang yellow card. Stevenson totaled four yellow cards in the first half, including two against senior Leah Warner. Warner, who finished with one assist, was not eligible to return to the rest of the game.
Merrick led Stevenson with four points on three goals and one assist while Keeney led Messiah with five goals. Madi Brunk added three goals and one assist for the Falcons.
Messiah outshot the Mustangs 30-19, including 16-6 in the first half. It was just the second time this season that Stevenson, who came into the game averaging 28.3 shots per game, totaled less than 20 shots.
Junior Leanne Bittner, a three-time conference defender of the week, finished with 11 saves.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, April 26 when it hosts a Commonwealth Conference contest versus Lycoming on senior day and alumni appreciation day. Opening draw is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. If the Mustangs, Falcons and Dutchmen all win on Saturday, the Falcons would be the top-seed in the tournament with a plus-three scoring margin over the other two teams. Stevenson would be the second seed and Lebanon Valley the third.