Stevenson anointed new No. 1 in Division III
Two days after knocking off No. 2 Salisbury, 16-12, and with top-ranked Tufts dropping a 9-8 decision to No. 18 Endicott on Tuesday, Stevenson vaulted to the top of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll on Monday.
The Mustangs, who improved to 15-1 overall, received eight of 18 first-place votes with No. 2 Rochester Institute of Technology getting six and Salisbury receiving four.
Coach Paul Cantabene said the team welcomes the No. 1 ranking – with a caveat.
“It’s a long season, and it’s a nice honor to be ranked No. 1 again, but we really can’t worry about that too much,” he said Monday morning. “We still have a lot of games to play, and the first thing we’ve got to worry about is our [Capital Athletic Conference tournament] semifinal game against St. Mary’s on Wednesday. And if we get by that, we’re probably going to have to see Salisbury again, and that’s a pretty short window to play each other two times. So we can’t really worry about the No. 1 ranking. It’s great to have, but at the same time, we’re looking forward to the future here.”
With an 8-0 record in the CAC, Stevenson captured the top seed in the conference tournament and will have homefield advantage for the entire tournament. But Cantabene said the coaching staff will remind the players that they cannot afford to overlook the Saints (6-8, 4-4), who visit Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
“It’s something we’re definitely looking at and making our guys understand that they’ve got to play these games one at a time,” Cantabene said. “We can’t look forward to the future, and at the same time, we’ve got to make sure that we come out of them as healthy as possible.”