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Experience paves way for Stevenson

For the third time in as many seasons, Stevenson has reached the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals.

The Mustangs, who are ranked No. 3 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, have made it out of this stage to the semifinals in their previous two trips. If a third appearance in the Final Four is in the cards, coach Paul Cantabene said the experience of playing in a tension-filled pressure cooker could be a huge benefit for Stevenson.

“We’ve been here for a couple years now, so I think they know what it takes to win these games, how to manage times, and how to go about it,” he said. “It’s tough when it’s your first time because you’re not sure what it’s all about. I think our guys understand that, and it’s a pretty motivated group, and hopefully, we’ll get a goal better.”

The Mustangs (18-2) will play host to No. 7 Roanoke, which has not lost since March 23.

But on March 16, the Maroons suffered their worst loss of the season when Stevenson paid them a visit and left with a 16-6 rout. Senior defenseman Kyle Menendez said the players aren’t banking on that result for Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills.

“I think the playoffs are just a different animal,” Menendez said. “I think everybody realizes that when you get to the playoffs, you just need to win however possible and move in. So I don’t think the score of our last performance matters. I think we’re happy that we played hard and we’re happy that our game plan worked. But besides that, I don’t think there’s a psychological advantage. We’ve just got to go out and play the game and get the win.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Stevenson
        

Comments

Don't count out Roanoke. I can assure you Stevenson won't be overlooking them. In 2010, Stevenson put a beat down on them during the regular season only to meet them again in the playoffs. In the playoffs, the game turned out to be a war and went to overtime. It easily could have gone either way. Justin Tuma is one of the best middies in the nation and is arguably the best center middie the Maroons have had since Rocco Guglielmo, and that's going back 25 years. That spans a lot of years and a lot of really good players for this tradition rich program. The lineup is also has tremendous balance and they cruised in their first round game. Call me biased, because I went to college with Head Coach Bill Pilat: He will have them up for this big game against a respected foe.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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