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June 28, 2011

Review & preview: Stevenson

Here is the sixth installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division III programs in the state to evaluate the past and offer a glimpse into the future. Tuesday, we take a visit with Stevenson. (Coach Paul Cantebene did not return requests for an interview.)

REVIEW

The good: The Mustangs extended their streak of 17-win campaigns to three with 18 victories in 21 contests this past spring. The team stayed within the top five of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll for much of the season, losing once only to eventual national champion Salisbury, 2010 NCAA titlist Tufts, and Roanoke, and advancing to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. … Stevenson had nine players earn All-American honors. The individual accolades were headlined by seniors Jimmy Dailey and Evan Douglass. Dailey, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, was named Outstanding Player of the Year after leading Division III in points (118) and assists (58), which are school records. He also wrapped his career as the program’s leader in points (329) and assists (163). Douglass was selected as the nation’s Outstanding Defensive Player after leading Division III in caused turnovers (59) and setting a school record for caused turnovers in a career (136). … Another school mark was surpassed when senior Neal Barthelme scored 73 goals, obliterating the previous program mark of 59 goals by Richie Ford in 2008. Barthelme, a Towson native and Dulaney graduate, finished with 94 points, which was one point shy of Steve Kazimer’s school record of 95 points established last year.

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May 26, 2011

Three area players earn national distinction

Stevenson seniors Jimmy Dailey and Evan Douglass and Salisbury senior Johnny Rodriguez headline a group of players for area Division III programs that earned All-American honors.

Dailey was named the nation’s Outstanding Player of the Year by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association on Wednesday. Dailey, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, led the country in points (118) and assists (58) this season and is the Mustangs’ all-time leader in points (329) and assists (163).

Douglass was chosen as the Outstanding Defensive Player. His 59 caused turnovers are first in the nation, and he graduates as the school’s career leader in caused turnovers with 136.

Rodriguez was selected as the National Goalkeeper of the Year. His 5.97 goals-against average ranks third in the country, and he ranks fourth in school history with 475 career saves in three years at Salisbury.

Those three players made the All-American first team. They were joined by Salisbury junior attackman Matt Cannone, junior midfielder Sam Bradman and senior defenseman Collin Tokosch.

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Categories: Goucher, McDaniel, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

May 20, 2011

Salisbury prepping for different Roanoke team

As Roanoke’s 13-12 victory over Stevenson in the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals suggests, this Maroons team is drastically different from the one in the regular season.

That’s the approach that Salisbury is taking as the Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, prepare to welcome No. 7 Roanoke to Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury in a semifinal matchup on Sunday.

The Sea Gulls defeated the Maroons, 10-7, on March 23, but that’s the last time Roanoke (17-3) lost.

“They’ve won 12 games in a row, so they obviously have more confidence,” Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said Thursday. “They’ve got some kids that had to step into new roles, and they’ve had a whole season since then. Twelve games is a whole year to adapt to their roles. They filled some holes, and the kids are just playing a lot better.”

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May 19, 2011

Salisbury advances to Final Four, but won't face expected rival

Salisbury’s 12-4 victory over Dickinson on Wednesday night guaranteed the program’s seventh trip in the last eight years to the NCAA Division III tournament semifinals. As a reward, not only do the Sea Gulls (19-1) get to host one-half of the Final Four on Sunday at 1 p.m., but they also won’t have to deal with Capital Athletic Conference rival Stevenson.

That’s because the Mustangs, ranked No. 3 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, fell to No. 7 Roanoke, 13-12, in a tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday. Stevenson (18-3) had won three straight against the Maroons – including a 16-6 rout on March 16 – but Roanoke (17-3) returned the favor to extend its winning streak to 12.

In fact, the Maroons’ last loss took place on March 23 when Salisbury visited Donald J. Kerr Stadium in Salem, Va., and left with a 10-7 victory. Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman told SFMSports.net after his team’s win against the Red Devils that Roanoke is a formidable opponent that will not be taken lightly.

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May 18, 2011

Roanoke at Stevenson: Three things to watch

Stevenson owns a 3-1 lead in this series, including winning the last three meetings. The Mustangs, ranked No. 3 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, tagged No. 7 Roanoke with its worst loss of the season, 16-6, on March 16. A Stevenson victory would guarantee a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament semifinals. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Wednesday.

1) Lock down on defense (again). The Maroons (16-3) finished the regular season with the third-most prolific offense in the country. But a unit that averaged 16.2 goals per game was silenced by the Mustangs (18-2). Specifically, Stevenson limited four of Roanoke’s top five scorers – junior attackman Jeff Keating (80 points), sophomore attackman Richard Lachlan (64), senior midfielder Justin Tuma (52) and sophomore midfielder Mike Hayden (49) – to a combined two goals and zero assists. “I thought it was one of our better outings of the year,” Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene said. “I thought they did a great job of taking away the knowns, and I think we’re going to have to do that again this time. I think they’ve got some pretty talented players on the attack, especially inside. They’re a pretty dangerous team. They can go to the goal. We just have to do a nice job staying with them and understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

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May 17, 2011

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.”

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May 16, 2011

Salisbury, Stevenson prep for matchups in NCAA quarterfinals

Like their Division I brethren, Salisbury and Stevenson are fully aware of their opponents in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Sea Gulls, ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, will play host to No. 6 Dickinson at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury at 7:30 p.m.

Salisbury (18-1) is the reigning Capital Athletic Conference tournament champion – for the 16th time in the school’s history – and hasn’t lost since dropping a 16-12 decision to Stevenson on April 16, which was the regular-season finale for both teams.

Like the Sea Gulls, the Red Devils have suffered just one setback, losing to Skidmore, 9-7, on March 16. Since then, Dickinson (17-1) has won 12 straight contests, including capturing the school’s first Centennial Conference tournament crown.

This will be the first meeting between Salisbury and the Red Devils.

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May 13, 2011

Stevenson on the mend at the right time

Not having played since walloping Denison, 14-2, on April 30, Stevenson has used the nearly two weeks off wisely.

Senior attackman Jimmy Dailey (swollen elbow) and junior goalkeeper Ian Bolland (sore thumb) have improved, and while senior attackman Richie Ford still isn’t 100 percent after injuring his groin in a 14-13 loss to No. 7 Tufts on March 23, the Mustangs are feeling much healthier, according to coach Paul Cantabene.

“We’re pretty healthy for this time of the year,” he said. “We’re always going to have nicks and bruises. So we don’t have any excuses.”

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Coaching changes signal potential, pitfalls of college lacrosse

There’s an illuminating article on Laxmagazine.com written by former Sun writer Gary Lambrecht about how the parting of ways between Towson and former head coach Tony Seaman and Navy and former head coach Richie Meade within a span of three hours on Monday afternoon was symptomatic of the necessary evils of the growth of college lacrosse.

While Denver begins to rival Baltimore and Long Island as a hotbed, every game in the NCAA tournament is broadcast on ESPN’s network of channels, and high-profile coaches get paid handsomely for their efforts, Lambrecht wrote that there is a dark side: the rise of a win-now atmosphere that could cost coaches their jobs and players their mentors.

Maryland coach John Tillman said the demand to mine success immediately in sports mirrors that attitude in society.

“We live in a now society,” said Tillman, who replaced Dave Cottle after he was dismissed by the administration despite a 99-45 record in nine seasons with the Terps and seven consecutive years of at least 10 wins. “Everybody wants everything now – fast food, microwaves, On Demand. You can get what you want pretty quickly. And all of us are competitive in everything that we do, and that includes athletic departments. Lacrosse is starting to become a sport that’s on TV a lot. As our athletic director and president like to say, athletics can be the front porch to your house. When people see that front porch and that front porch looks pretty nice, it may change some people’s opinions on the house.”

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 10, 2011

Difficult roads await Salisbury, Stevenson

The Division III bracket for the NCAA tournament was unveiled late Sunday night, and a sleepless night or two might visit Salisbury coach Jim Berkman and Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene.

The Sea Gulls (17-1), the Capital Athletic Conference tournament champions who are ranked No. 1 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, might perhaps have the tougher path to the South region final.

They get a bye in the first round, but could face an Endicott team (15-4) that tagged reigning national champion Tufts with one of its two losses. A third-round meeting with Dickinson (16-1) beckons before a potential Final Four meeting with Stevenson.

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May 4, 2011

Stevenson makes case for No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament

Seven days after falling to Capital Athletic Conference rival Salisbury in the conference tournament final, No. 3 Stevenson took out its frustration on No. 16 Denison, racing to a 14-1 advantage after three quarters en route to a 14-2 thumping on Saturday.

Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene acknowledged that there might have been a little carryover effect from losing to the Sea Gulls in the CAC title game on April 23.

“I thought the guys were pretty motivated after that game and did a real good job of understanding that we still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the South for the tournament,” he said Tuesday. “So I thought they came out and played really well and dictated the pace. So it was a good effort by the guys, to refocus and understand how we needed to play.”

Although Salisbury (16-1) is the top-ranked team in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, Stevenson may have just as strong of a case for the No. 1 seed in the South Region of the NCAA tournament, which will be announced on Sunday.

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April 28, 2011

Stevenson's Dailey named CAC Player of the Year

Attackman Jimmy Dailey headlined a group of seven Stevenson players to be named to the Capital Athletic Conference first and second teams, the league announced Wednesday.

Dailey, a senior from Westminster who graduated from Winters Mill, is the first Mustang to capture the Player of the Year honors, breaking Salisbury’s 16-year stranglehold on the award. Dailey, who leads Division III in points per game (5.9) and total assists (51), is a four-time first-team selection and a former Rookie of the Year in 2007.

Freshman long-stick midfielder Ryan Rubenstein shares the Rookie of the Year award with Frostburg State attackman Ryan Serio. Hood coach Jeremy Mattoon shares Coach of the Year honors with Mary Washington’s Kurt Glaeser. Mattoon guided the Blazers to their first berth in the CAC tournament.

Joining Dailey on the first team are senior attackman Neal Barthelme, senior midfielder Kyle Moffitt, senior defenseman Evan Douglass and senior faceoff specialist Ray Witte.

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Categories: Hood, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

April 26, 2011

A desperate time called for desperate measure by Salisbury

Salisbury hasn’t captured eight NCAA Division III titles by sitting around and being complacent.

The Sea Gulls have embodied the bold, risk-taking nature of their coach in Jim Berkman and have taken the necessary measures to be one of the more consistent and successful programs in Division III lacrosse.

Still, Berkman conceded that the coaches’ decision to pull senior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez – who had won 15 of 16 games this season – with senior Tim Swinburn for the final 37 minutes of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final against then-No. 1 Stevenson on Saturday was the only move the team had left after finding itself in a 10-5 hole midway through the second quarter.

“Let’s put it this way: if things kept going the way they were going, we weren’t going anywhere anyway,” Berkman recalled Monday of his thought process. “So at that point, I don’t think it mattered whether it was a calculated risk or not because the way we were playing, we needed to make some changes. We kind of went with Timmy. He’s a fifth-year senior, he’s a solid goalie who was a high school All American, and he seized the moment just as [goalie] Nick Fiorentino did a few years ago for us when he stepped in for the semifinal and the championship game and played outstanding, beating Gettysburg and Cortland back-to-back [in 2008]. That’s kind of what your bench is for, to be ready when you need them and be able to step in. that’s what Timmy did, and we’re extremely proud of what he did on Saturday.”

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April 23, 2011

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

The back-and-forth between these Capital Athletic Conference rivals resumes once again as No. 3 Salisbury (15-1) visits top-ranked Stevenson (16-1) for the right to be the conference tournament champion. In the previous two seasons, the winner of the regular-season meeting could not repeat that outcome in the CAC tournament final, and the visiting team captured the title. Will history repeat itself and usher in the Sea Gulls as this year’s tournament champion? Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday.

1) Tokosch vs. Dailey. In last Saturday’s 16-12 victory, the Mustangs got three goals from leading scorer Jimmy Dailey, including two in a span of 106 seconds during a 5-0 run to begin the contest. According to Salisbury coach Jim Berkman, the defense countered by assigning senior Collin Tokosch, who limited the senior attackman to just one goal for the remainder of the game. “He obviously knows he’s going to be a big part of Saturday, and hopefully, we can keep Dailey in check or he can neutralize him a little bit to make him earn his goals,” Berkman said of Tokosch, who has caused 15 turnovers and collected 28 ground balls. “The two goals that he had at the beginning of the game, he flat-out burned [senior] Nick Mooney, and it was so quick that we couldn’t even help out on him. So we’re hoping that by switching Collin on him, that won’t happen, especially in the beginning of the game.”

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April 22, 2011

Stevenson, Salisbury hope they got the sluggishness out

Salisbury and Stevenson survived closer-than-anticipated contests on Wednesday to advance to the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final on Saturday at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills.

The No. 3 Sea Gulls (15-1) didn’t score their first goal against Mary Washington until more than 11 minutes had elapsed in the first quarter. Salisbury eventually won, 15-5, after routing the Eagles by 16 goals on March 26.

“I think there was a logical letdown because it was such an emotional day on Saturday,” coach Jim Berkman said, referring to Salisbury’s 16-12 loss to the Mustangs. “The stands were packed, and it was a chippy game, real physical. It was a battle for 60 minutes and not only physically, but mentally. So I think there was a logical letdown in that regard, especially when both teams had beaten their opponents handedly a couple of weeks ago. … But both teams got done what they needed to get done.”

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April 21, 2011

Postscript from St. Mary's at Stevenson

As impressive as Stevenson’s potent offense and stingy defense have been this season, one oft-overlooked factor in the team’s success this season has been the performance of senior faceoff specialist Ray Witte.

The Annapolis native and St. Peter and Paul graduate has won 194-of-295 draws, including 18-of-25 in the top-ranked Mustangs’ 16-7 victory over visiting St. Mary’s in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Wednesday.

Witte also scored a pair of goals with both goals following tallies by teammates and extending Stevenson’s runs.

“He’s pretty unique in that he also has the talent to put the ball in the net,” coach Paul Cantabene said of Witte, who has surpassed his career-high of eight goals by one this season. “He could run on one of our offensive midfield lines if we needed him to, but we just need him to settle it down. And he’s really been a catalyst for us. He’s a lot better than people think. Just because he doesn’t have the greatest percentage, some people think he’s not one of the best. But when it comes to the big games, there’s nobody better.”

Witte said he didn’t feel comfortable taking a shot after winning a faceoff until last season when he succeeded Greg Furshman as the primary faceoff specialist.

“My shot has kind of developed as my season has progressed,” Witte said. “… First, we like to get it to the offense and let them work it around fastbreak-style. But if I see that it’s something that I can get done, I’m going.”

But Witte has his priorities in order, saying that scoring goals is a nice bonus but not his mission.

“If we have the ball, we can score,” he said. “If we don’t have the ball, we can’t score. It’s that simple. So I want to keep winning them.”

Other notes:

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April 20, 2011

Loyola, UMBC, Stevenson, St. Mary's earn weekly awards

Players from Loyola, UMBC, Stevenson and St. Mary’s were recipients of weekly honors from their respective conferences.

Senior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after he made a career-best 18 saves in No. 19 Loyola’s 6-5 four-overtime win against Georgetown on Sunday. The Havre de Grace native and Boys’ Latin graduate made six of his stops in the extra session and also collected four ground balls.

Sophomore attackman Scott Jones was cited by the America East as its Player of the Week for his five-goal performance in UMBC’s 13-9 victory over Albany on Saturday night. Four of those five goals occurred in the fourth quarter, and Jones currently leads the Retrievers with 17.

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St. Mary's at Stevenson: Three things to watch

St. Mary’s is making its third straight appearance in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, but the Seahawks (6-8 overall and 4-4 in the CAC) have not beaten Stevenson since April 20, 2007. The newly-anointed No. 1 Mustangs (15-1, 8-0) have lost just one game at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills since the beginning of the 2010 season. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome on Wednesday.

1) Settle the unsettled. Stevenson is most dangerous when given the opportunity to control the tempo of games and then run amok. Having a faceoff specialist like senior Ray Witte (176-of-270 for .652 percentage) helps either igniting the fastbreak or simply giving possession to the offense. St. Mary’s coach Chris Hasbrouck said slowing down the Mustangs in unsettled situations is the biggest challenge. “They’re tough between the lines,” he said. “They do a great job in their unsettled offense. They just move the ball extremely well, they’ve got a couple kids who have been playing together for a long time at attack, and they finish very, very well. Their midfielders can push the pace. So we’ve got to defend. The ground balls in the middle of the field are going to be huge, and we’ve got to execute.”

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April 19, 2011

CORRECTION: St. Mary's rounding into health -- and maybe form

St. Mary’s three-game winning streak is not necessarily a coincidence, according to coach Chris Hasbrouck.

The injury-plagued Saints Seahawks are getting healthy and just in time for Wednesday’s Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at newly anointed No. 1 Stevenson.

“Without a doubt, we’re playing our best lacrosse of the year now,” Hasbrouck said. “We had a few injuries earlier in the year that we’ve overcome, and we’re excited to be here right now. There’s only four Capital Athletic Conference teams playing, and we’re one of them. So that’s a good thing.”

Freshman midfielder Gordy Long missed six games while nursing a high ankle sprain, and starting short-stick defensive midfielders Colin Gload and Tim Fortner have missed a few games in the middle of the season with unspecified injuries.

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On the rebound, Salisbury eager to overcome uncharacteristic errors

Salisbury has made a habit out of befuddling opponents and forcing them into making mistakes they usually aren’t prone to make.

That trend was reversed on Saturday as the Sea Gulls dropped a 16-12 decision to Stevenson on Saturday.

Salisbury, which fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in Monday’s United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, misfired on six clears, committed 22 turnovers, and collected 11 fewer ground balls than the Mustangs (15-1), who vaulted to the top of the USILA poll from No. 3 on Monday.

“We dug ourselves a hole too early, and we were constantly fighting from behind,” said Berkman, whose team fell behind, 6-1, 3 minutes, 40 seconds into the second quarter. “We ended up shooting ourselves in the foot a million times with a couple bad clears, turning the ball over too much, too many penalties. We dug ourselves a hole at 8-2, but then we fought all the way back and got it to 8-6 40 seconds into the third quarter. But every time we got it to two or three in the second half, that next possession, we would shoot ourselves in the foot before giving ourselves a chance to cut it to two or one. So we’ve got to play a lot better than we played as far as not making the foolish mistakes.”

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CORRECTION: In Barthelme, Stevenson has found another power source for offense

With Steve Kazimer departing through graduation and Richie Ford hampered by eligibility issues and then a pulled hamstring, the question around Stevenson was which player would pair with senior Jimmy Dailey to power the attack.

The top-ranked Mustangs (15-1) found their answer a long time ago in senior Neal Barthleme Barthelme, who leads the team in goals with 56 and ranks second in points with 71. Barthleme, a Towson native and Dulaney graduate, scored 34 times and assisted on nine others as a midfielder last season.

“Neal’s had a great year,” coach Paul Cantabene said Monday. “He had a great year for us last year, coming off the bench. This year, he’s just made the most of his opportunities. He leads the country in goals scored, and he’s second in the country in points. He’s really made the most of his opportunities, and we really needed someone to step up after the graduation of Kazimer last year, and Neal’s been able to step into that role.”

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April 18, 2011

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.

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April 16, 2011

Stevenson at Salisbury: Three things to watch

There are plenty of storylines as No. 3 Stevenson visits No. 2 Salisbury. At stake is first place in the Capital Athletic Conference and the top seed in the conference tournament, which also entails home-field advantage throughout the tournament. There’s also firing the first salvo that in what could be a three-meeting series this season between these rivals. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Saturday.

1) Minding the midfield. While the Mustangs boast the fourth-most prolific offense in Division III, the Sea Gulls (14-0) aren’t exactly wallflowers as they were ninth with a 15.0 goals-per-game average as of Tuesday. Salisbury has relied on a starting midfield powered by reigning National Midfielder of the Year Sam Bradman, but coach Jim Berkman said the team has benefited from the development of a second line composed of junior Jeff McGuire (10 goals and four assists), sophomore Ryan Clarke (6, 8) and senior Spencer Smith (8, 4). “We’re seeing an emergence of some of the second line middies that are getting better,” Berkman said. “… They have given us a little bit more firepower. That’s always a plus because if they can get in the field and not turn the ball over and get you a couple goals a game, that’s a big advantage.”

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April 13, 2011

History lesson for Salisbury, Stevenson

If history is any indicator of the future, Saturday’s rivalry game between No. 2 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson figures to have significant ramifications for both teams in the NCAA tournament.

In the past two seasons, the winner of the regular-season contest has lost in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament final but bounced back to prevail in the NCAA tournament.

That’s what happened in 2009 with the Mustangs winning in the regular season, losing in the CAC final, and ousting the Sea Gulls in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Following year, Salisbury won the first meeting, dropped the CAC title, and advanced to the national championship game by edging Stevenson in overtime in the semifinals.

Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman wasn’t sure what to make of the pattern.

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April 12, 2011

UPDATED: Salisbury, Stevenson to be fully loaded for Saturday's showdown

When No. 2 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson meet on Saturday in a critical Capital Athletic Conference at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury, both teams are expected to have their full complement of players.

The Mustangs (13-1 overall and 6-0 in the CAC) is anticipating the return of fifth-year senior attackman Richie Ford, who has been shelved since pulling his hamstring in the second quarter of the team’s 14-13 loss to No. 1 Tufts on March 23.

“We hope he’s going to be ready,” coach Paul Cantabene said Tuesday. “We’re preparing like he is.”

Ford, who led Stevenson in goals last season with 57, had posted 16 goals and seven assists in seven games before his injury. He has been replaced in starting lineup by sophomore Tyler Reid, who has recorded 10 goals and five assists in those five games.

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March 24, 2011

Postscript from Tufts at Stevenson

Wednesday night’s showdown between No. 1 Tufts and No. 2 Stevenson is just one of many games those two programs will play this season, and perhaps that’s why both coaches declined to make too much of the 14-13 outcome in favor of the visiting Jumbos.

“I don’t think so,” Tufts coach Mike Daly said when asked if the win sent a statement to the rest of Division III. “I think these guys are still 18- to 22-year-olds, and shoot, we’re going to have our hands full with Williams College on Saturday. They’re an in-league opponent, and we’re onto the next challenge.”

Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene was even blunter, saying, “Nothing. It doesn’t mean anything. This is a regional game for us. We understand that. But at the same time, we understand that we’ve got to win our games and win our conference. I think we’re already in a great position for the NCAA tournament with three big wins over top-10 teams in the southern region. So I think we’re in a good position. We’ve just got to continue to get better. That was a great game, probably one of the best Division III games around, and we’re going to continue to get better. We’ll be back. Our guys are motivated. They understand what just happened, and we’ll be back.”

Barring a total collapse in the latter half of the season, both sides are virtually guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Still, if you’re a Jumbos fan, there’s a lot to be excited about. The offense tagged Stevenson with a season high in goals, and junior goalkeeper Steven Foglietta demonstrated that he may be one of the best at his position.

Tufts senior attackman D.J. Hessler said the victory should silence the critics questioning the team’s staying power after capturing the NCAA championship last May.

“We know we’re not a one-hit wonder,” he said. “If that’s what other people want to think, so be it. Maybe this game would send a statement, but it really comes down to May. Even if we had lost this game, it’s not the end of the season. We keep going at it. But it definitely says that we’re not some phony who won by chance or won by luck. Hopefully, that answers the call.”

Other notes:

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March 23, 2011

Tufts at Stevenson: Halftime thoughts

Looks like the game was worth the wait after all.

After a weather delay that lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes, Tufts and Stevenson finally took the field at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, and the visiting Jumbos own an 8-6 advantage at halftime in the showdown between the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in Division III.

Stevenson (8-0) led 6-5 after senior midfielder Kyle Moffitt scored his second goal of the game with 2:02 left in the second quarter.

But Tufts, the 2010 NCAA champion, roared back with three consecutive scores in the final 1:28, including two within an 8-second span. That run was fueled by senior attackman D.J. Hessler, a Monkton native and St. Paul’s graduate, who scored twice.

The Jumbos had capitalized on the Mustangs’ porous interior defense and their shoot-first mentality to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter. But Stevenson answered back with goals from senior midfielder Neal Barthelme (14:14), Moffitt (13:14) and freshman midfielder Tony Rossi (6:54).

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Stevenson
        

Tufts-Stevenson game moved

Due to an abundance of rain saturating the grass field at Caves Athletic Center in Owings Mills, Stevenson’s home game against Tufts has been moved to Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. The time of the contest has also been shifted from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The visiting Jumbos (3-0) are the reigning NCAA champions and are ranked No. 1 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll. The Mustangs have opened the season with eight consecutive wins and are ranked one spot behind Tufts.

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Tufts at Stevenson: Three things to watch

In what should be a thrilling Division III contest, top-ranked and reigning national champion Tufts pays a visit to No. 2 Stevenson. The Jumbos have won their first three consecutive games. The Mustangs have won their first eight games, including victories over No. 4 Cortland, No. 9 Roanoke and No. 10 Lynchburg over an eight-day span. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Caves Athletic Center in Owings Mills.

1) Press down on the accelerator. With an offense that ranks fifth in the country with an average of 16.5 goals per game, Stevenson wants to run and push the tempo. The Mustangs might get a willing dance partner in Tufts, which also has the athletes get into a run-and-gun setting. Cantabene said he is looking forward to a freestyle pace. “They will give us a much different challenge than Cortland did because they want to get out and run whereas Cortland wanted to hold the ball and throw it around,” Cantabene said. “And we think we play pretty fast as well. I think it’s going to be about who gives up more transition goals in this game. Both teams are deep and play a lot of people, so we’ll see.”

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March 22, 2011

Weekly awards announced

Navy had a pair of players earn weekly honors from the Patriot League.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner was named the Offensive Player of the Week for registering four goals and seven assists in two wins last week. He posted two goals and a career-best six assists in the Midshipmen’s 14-11 victory over Towson on Tuesday night and then added two goals and one assist in an 8-3 win against Holy Cross on Saturday.

Freshman attackman Harrison Chaires was selected as the Rookie of the Week for scoring four extra-man goals, including three against the Crusaders. Chaires became the first Navy player to score three times on man-up situations in a single game since Adam Borcz did so against Penn State on April 14, 2001.

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Top-heavy schedule doesn't weigh down Stevenson

In a span of eight days, Stevenson was challenged by three top-10 teams and emerged with victories each time.

On Wednesday, the Mustangs (8-0) will meet their fourth top-10 opponent in top-ranked and reigning national champion Tufts (3-0), and according to coach Paul Cantabene, the players embrace the hectic schedule.

“I don’t think the schedule wears on the guys because our guys just want to play the best teams possible,” he said Monday. “It doesn’t matter when we play them. They like being challenged. The only thing that is probably a little challenging for us is that this is going to be our ninth game and it’s going to be Tufts’ fourth game. So we’re kind of more into the season. But I don’t think it really wears on the guys. I think they’ve been handling it great. I think the biggest thing that has helped us is that guys came into the season in such great shape. So I think that’s worked out well for us.”

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March 19, 2011

Cortland at Stevenson: Three things to watch

Both Cortland and Stevenson enter Saturday’s contest with high expectations and unblemished records. The Red Dragons, who are ranked No. 4 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, are off to a 4-0 start. The Mustangs, who are ranked two spots ahead of Cortland, have won their first seven games. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Caves Athletic Center in Owings Mills.

1) Solve the Red Dragons’ defense. Cortland ranks second in Division III in defense, surrendering just 2.5 goals per game this season. The unit is anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Mike Kaminski (2.51 goals-against average and .690 save percentage) and a pair of senior defensemen in Justin Schneldman and Shane Crossett – a group that has caught Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene’s attention. “They’re big and long, and they’ve got some pretty good middies, but at the same time, I’m not sure they’ve faced the offenses that we have,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great challenge. They don’t slide a whole bunch because they play great individual defense. They don’t take a whole lot of chances. But at the same time, we make it hard on other teams with our multiple-formation, motion offense that we run. But they give us a great challenge, and our guys are motivated by great challenges.”

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March 18, 2011

Stevenson's Dailey opens up on the Web

Saturday’s edition will include a feature on Jimmy Dailey, a senior attackman who has propelled Stevenson to a 7-0 record and the No. 2 ranking in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll.

It turns out that the Westminster native and Winters Mill is just as prolific at storytelling.

This spring, Dailey has agreed to participate in a weekly blog where he shares his thoughts with a school staffer, who then transcribes and posts his comments on the program’s website.

Dailey said he didn’t need much arm-twisting.

“I jumped on the idea,” he said. “I absolutely loved it. We just kind of go with it. I go in there unprepared, and I love the spontaneity. I think it’s kind of a fun thing that people can read.”

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Q&A with former D-III National Player of the Year Tommy Kehoe

Tommy Kehoe was named the Division III National Player of the Year after the long-stick midfielder helped guide Gettysburg to the NCAA tournament final in 2009. A contributor to Inside Lacrosse who shared his thoughts on Stevenson senior attackman Jimmy Dailey for Saturday’s edition, Kehoe also offered his perspective on a few area topics of interest.

Question: What’s going to be the key for No. 2 Stevenson to beat No. 4 Cortland on Saturday? Can the Mustangs pierce Cortland’s defense, which is allowing just 2.5 goals per game thus far?
Answer: More than any other factor, you’ll see a lot of this game play out in the faceoff battle. [Senior Chris] Deluca of Cortland, the reigning National Player of the Year, is a threat off the draw, but really finds ways to contribute in every facet, starting with transition, then into settled offense, and then back onto defense. Stevenson, for obvious reasons, has always been great at facing off, and [senior] Ray Witte can do all the things Deluca can, but is complemented with a more fluid attack in transition. I have the distinct pleasure of knowing [Stevenson volunteer assistant and former faceoff specialist] Gregory Furshman, who handles the faceoff instruction up there, and his knowledge pertaining to digging one out is as humbling as it is inspiring. So I’d suspect him to come up with a plan of attack detailing the exact angle and velocity Witte is to clamp. It’ll be interesting to see if these guys get into stalemates or if it turns into a home-run derby with both guys getting 50/50 shots at pushing it forward cleanly. I’d say the stalemates would favor Stevenson because Cortland’s offense isn’t as dynamic. So they’d benefit more than Stevenson from the high-percentage looks in transition. As to Cortland’s defense, I know they’re good because I’ve seen them play and I have a lot of respect for their coach [Steve Beville], who has what I wish was my [2009] national championship ring somewhere in his house. But I would not put much weight into their goals-allowed average at this point in the season. The 2.5 goals a game means they're executing, but I’d expect any top-four defense to execute against their schedule thus far. The impressive Gettysburg win should be the feather in that defense’s hat, but as much as it pains me to say, Gettysburg’s offense has been sputtering all season. So it’s not as commanding as a statement as it would of been in years past. This game will tell the tale, which is why it’s on the schedule.

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March 1, 2011

Ford makes splash in debut for Stevenson

It took a little while, but Richie Ford finally got approval from the NCAA for a fifth year of eligibility. Demonstrating why the attackman for Stevenson is one of the offense’s top players took even less time.

Ford, who registered 57 goals and 35 assists last season, posted three goals and one assist in his debut in the No. 2 Mustangs’ 19-5 demolition of Kean last Saturday. His presence injected his teammates with a little adrenaline, coach Paul Cantabene said.

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February 21, 2011

Ford, Stevenson awaiting word from NCAA

Stevenson, ranked No. 3 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches poll, overpowered No. 7 Haverford by seven goals Saturday, and the Mustangs did so without one of their top offensive players.

Senior attackman Richie Ford is waiting for the NCAA to approve his application for a fifth year of eligibility, and until then, the Baltimore native and Towson graduate is not permitted to play.

Coach Paul Cantabene said he wasn’t sure when a decision would be made.

“We’ve just got to go by their timeline, and we’re just waiting,” he said. “It’s just one of those things with the NCAA. So we’re just waiting to hear back from them.”

Stevenson started sophomore Tyler Reid in Ford’s place, and the transfer from Fairfield scored twice against the Fords.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for the younger guys to step up,” Cantabene said of Ford’s absence. “We had Tyler Reid step up with two goals this weekend and play well. [Sophomore] Danny Schanne is another guy we’re going to use in the meantime. But it’s an opportunity for them, and that’s why we recruit.”

Other notes:

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February 17, 2011

Stevenson preview

This entry is the sixth in a series taking a look at each of the seven Division III programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Thursday, Feb. 17. Today is Stevenson’s turn.

Overview: For the second year in a row, the Mustangs advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals, but they are still searching for their first trip to the national title game. Stevenson did prevent rival Salisbury from capturing that school’s 16th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament crown. Adding more to the trophy case is an objective, but are the Mustangs poised to take the next step in the program’s ongoing development? They’ll certainly try.

Reason for optimism: A defense that surrendered just 7.9 goals per contest last spring returns all three starting defensemen in seniors Evan Douglass, Ian Hart and Eric Schell. Add Virginia transfer Kyle Menendez and sophomore Kyle Fendlay and it’s easy to see why coach Paul Cantabene is quietly optimistic about the unit. “We’ve gone from being a team that was pretty much three-guys deep to being five-guys deep on close defense,” he said. “… So we think we’re pretty solid at the defensive end of the field. We feel like this is the best we’ve been defensively.”

Reason for pessimism: The aforementioned defense will be asked to hold the fort while junior goalkeeper Ian Bolland finds his footing in the net. The first-year starter filled in for Geoff Hebert when he was broke the pinkie finger on his left hand, but the bulk of the defensive responsibilities now falls on him. “[Sophomore] Pete Wesselman, who was also in contention for us, is going to back him up, but Ian’s done a great job of working really hard over the summer and this fall,” Cantabene said. “He’s really picked up his game, and he’s a lot different than Geoff was last year. Geoff was a kind of in-the-goal guy, but Ian’s very good out of the goal – picking up groundballs, clearing, carrying the ball for us a little bit. So he gives us a different dynamic that we’ve never had.”

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June 23, 2010

Review & preview: Stevenson

Here is the sixth installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division III programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Wednesday, we take a visit with Stevenson.

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June 7, 2010

Stevenson's Cantabene hasn't heard from Maryland

Despite rumors to the contrary, Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene has not been contracted by University of Maryland officials for the vacant Terrapins job.

Every year, Cantabene appears to be on a lot of short lists for possible replacements because of his success with the Mustangs, but he hasn't heard a thing from Maryland or athletic director Debbie Yow.

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May 27, 2010

Stevenson's Kazimer claims national award again

For the second consecutive year, Stevenson senior Steve Kazimer was named Division III’s Attackman of the Year.

The two-time first-team All American set a school record with 95 points this season and concluded his career with 247 points and 131 assists.

Kazimer ranked 12th in the country in points per game (4.57) and 11th in assists per game (2.38).

With Kazimer, the Mustangs finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll and advanced to the national semifinals for the second year in a row.

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May 26, 2010

Local players in Division III All-Star Game, too

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced the rosters for the Division III North-South All-Star Game on Friday at 3 p.m. at Goucher.

Stevenson and St. Mary’s each put two players on the South team. The Mustangs players are attackman Steve Kazimer and goalkeeper Geoff Hebert, while the Seahawks players are midfielder Ryan Alexander and defenseman Ryder Henry.

The South team will also include three players with high school ties to the Baltimore metropolitan area. They are Roanoke long-stick midfielder and Mount St. Joseph graduate Steve Simmons, Cabrini attackman and Dulaney graduate Rich Romanelli and Washington and Lee attackman and Gilman graduate Will Keigler.

Nazareth long-stick midfielder and Catonsville graduate Kyle Brown will play for the North team.

The South team will be coached by Goucher coach Kyle Hannan.

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May 25, 2010

Stevenson, Salisbury top All-American list

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association released its All-American list for the 2010 season, and three players from Stevenson and Salisbury made the first team.

Senior attackman Steve Kazimer and junior attackman Jimmy Dailey represented the Mustangs. Kazimer led the team in assists (49) and points (95) and ranked second in goals (46). Kazimer ranked 12th in the nation in points per game (4.57) and 11 in assists per game (2.38). Dailey was second among Stevenson players in assists (37) and third in goals (44) and points (81).

The Sea Gulls, who will meet Tufts on Sunday for the national championship, were represented on the first team by sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman, who led the team in goals (58) and points (85).

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Categories: Goucher, McDaniel, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

May 23, 2010

Stevenson at Salisbury: Three things to watch

Salisbury and Stevenson clash for the fifth time in two seasons. The Sea Gulls, the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III Tournament, are 11-7 in the national semifinals. Meanwhile, the Mustangs, the No. 2 seed in the South region, are eager to make their first appearance in a title game. The winner of Sunday’s contest at 1 p.m. at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury will move on and face either North region No. 1 seed and reigning national champion Cortland (17-2) or No. 2 seed Tufts (18-1) on Sunday, May 30 at 12 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

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May 19, 2010

Stevenson prepared for another dangerous opponent

Cabrini senior attackman Casey Grugan had entered last Saturday’s NCAA Division III Tournament second round averaging 3.6 goals and 5.3 points per game.

That average took a little slide during Stevenson’s 19-9 rout of the Cavaliers. The 18-1 Mustangs, the top-ranked team in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll but the No. 2 seed in the South region, limited Grugan, who registered 334 points in his career, to just one goal and zero assists.

Coach Paul Cantabene said much of the credit belonged to junior defenseman Evan Douglass.

"We thought Evan Douglass was going to do a great job on Grugan, which turned out to be the case," Cantabene said. "We really limited their offensive capacity, and that allowed us to put a lot of pressure on them, and once we got our shots falling, they’re not a great catch-up team, so we were able to extend out on them."

So what’s Stevenson’s reward? A quarterfinal contest with No. 5 Roanoke, which upended No. 3 seed and 2009 national finalist Gettysburg in the second round and boasts senior attackman Matt Quinton (a team-leading 54 goals and 65 points).

Quinton was shut out by junior defenseman Ian Hart in the Mustangs’ 18-9 thumping on March 27, and Cantabene said Quinton can expect the same match-up on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills.

"He’s a great off-ball player, and he has an extremely slick stick, and he can shoot it really well," Cantabene said of Quinton. "I thought we just did a good job of limiting his opportunities. That really kept them off the boards. We don’t expect keep him off the boards again. We just hope to limit his opportunities again and hopefully in the end, we’ll be one-goal better."

Other notes:

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May 14, 2010

Stevenson well-prepared for Cabrini's Grugan

Cabrini senior attackman Casey Grugan has registered 96 points this season, matching the school’s single-season record that he set last spring. He has also posted at least one point in a nation-leading 75 straight contests and has scored a goal in a Division III-record 72 consecutive games.

Fortunately, for the South region’s No. 2 seed in Stevenson, the Mustangs (17-1) have dealt with their fair share of potent opponents.

They shut out Roanoke’s Matt Quinton, who has compiled 52 goals and 62 points this season, and they limited Salisbury’s Sam Bradman (54 and 25) to just one goal and one assist in the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament final.

"We’ve played a lot of good players before," Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. "… I don’t think you try to stop him, but you just try to contain him. Hopfeully, he doesn’t go for 5 [goals] and 5 [assists]. You just want to limit his looks a little bit, limit the quality shots, and try to make him shoot with pressure on him and without letting him get his hands free."

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May 11, 2010

Stevenson settles for No. 2 seed in South region

A year removed from getting the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III tournament, Stevenson was not regarded as highly this time around.

When the bracket was unveiled late Sunday night, the Mustangs (17-1) were awarded the No. 2 seed. The No. 1 seed went to Capital Athletic Conference rival Salisbury.

"We knew that it would be either us or Salisbury that would be the No. 1 seed, and we thought we had more regional wins against regional-ranked teams and a stronger schedule than them," Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. "So we thought our body of work was a little bit better even though they did beat Cortland out-of-region. But we also had two wins against out-of-region ranked teams as well. We thought we had a little better resume for that, but in the end, you’ve got to play teams. Everybody you play in the NCAA Tournament is going to be very good, and whether you’re the 1 or the 2 or the 3 or the 4, you’ve got to play good teams."

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Salisbury hurdles Stevenson for top seed in South region

Ranked No. 2 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, Salisbury got the top seed in the South region of the NCAA Division III tournament Sunday night.

The Sea Gulls (18-1) appeared to be battling with top-ranked Stevenson (17-1) for the No. 1 seed, but it appeared that the selection committee rewarded Salisbury for a strength of schedule that included contests against the Mustangs (a 16-10 win on April 3 and a 10-6 loss on April 24), North region No. 1 seed and reigning national champion Cortland (a 12-11 win on March 10), No. 3 seed Gettysburg (an 11-10 overtime win on March 27), unseeded Widener (a 9-7 win on Feb. 27), unseeded Ohio Wesleyan (a 16-5 win on March 13) and Lynchburg (a 14-9 win on Feb. 20), the 10th-ranked team in the USILA poll that was not invited to the NCAA Tournament.

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May 10, 2010

Salisbury, Stevenson join "Group of Death"

When the NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse bracket was revealed late Sunday night, Salisbury and Stevenson learned that they will be playing in the sport’s version of "The Group of Death."

The Sea Gulls, the top seed in the South region, and the Mustangs, the No. 2 seed, are included in a portion of the tournament that is is loaded with six of the top 10 teams in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll.

Besides Stevenson, which is ranked No. 1, and Salisbury, which is No. 2, No. 3 Gettysburg is the third seed, and No. 5 Roanoke, No. 7 Dickinson and No. 9 Cabrini are unseeded. No. 14 Denison is also unseeded, while No. 17 Haverford, which upended Gettysburg to capture the Centennial Conference tournament championship, is the fourth seed.

The six top-10 teams have a combined win-loss record of 94-11 (an .895 winning percentage), and when you add Denison and Haverford, the mark grows to 115-19 (.858).

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May 6, 2010

Could Penn State vacancy have an impact locally?

Penn State coach Glenn Thiel announced on Wednesday his decision to step down after 33 years of leading the Nittany Lions.

He compiled a 236-186 record at Penn State and owned a career mark of 313-222, which includes the 1972 national championship as the coach at Virginia.

The school’s web site said that a national search for Thiel’s successor will begin immediately, and I can think of a few local names that could become candidates.

Shawn Nadelen is the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Towson, while Bobby Benson is the offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins. Navy assistant coach Stan Ross was the head coach at Butler for two seasons before the school dropped the lacrosse program, and coach Paul Cantabene has Stevenson in line for its second overall No. 1 seed in the Division III Tournament.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 4, 2010

A little R&R for Stevenson

After topping No. 14 Denison, 13-9, this past Saturday, No. 1 Stevenson gets a chance to rest.

Not that the Mustangs (17-1) will spend this two-week layoff prior to a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament tanning and goofing off. This week, classes wrap up and exams begin on Monday.

Coach Paul Cantabene said the time off would be beneficial for the players.

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April 29, 2010

Stevenson, Salisbury, St. Mary's dominate all-conference teams

No. 1 Stevenson, No. 3 Salisbury and St. Mary's peppered the All-Capital Athletic Conference teams announced Wednesday by the league.

The Mustangs, who became the first program other than Salisbury to capture the tournament championship, put six players on the all-conference first team, including all three attackmen in seniors Steve Kazimer and Richie Ford (Towson) and junior Jimmy Dailey (Winters Mills). Junior defenseman Evan Douglass, junior midfielder Kyle Moffit and junior face-off specialist Ray Witte also made the first team.

The Sea Gulls were represnted by five first-team players, including sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman who was named the Player of the Year. Bradman, who is the only Division III player among the 26 semifinalists for the Tewaaraton Award, is the 16th straight Salisbury player to be named the conference's Player of the Year.

The Sea Gulls placed senior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke, junior defenseman Collin Tokosch (Broadneck), senior long-stick midfielder Connor Burgasser and junior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez (Mount St. Joseph) on the first team. Jim Berkman was selected as the Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career.

St. Mary's senior defenseman Ryder Henry also made the first team.

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April 27, 2010

Stevenson basking in No. 1 ranking and CAC title

Newly-minted No. 1 Stevenson has had a few days to digest the program’s first Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship, which the Mustangs claimed on Saturday when they defeated No. 3 Salisbury, 10-6, and prevented the Sea Gulls from winning their 16th consecutive tournament crown.

"I think that’s a pretty good landmark for the program, and to knock off a school that had won it 15 straight years, that’s another huge accomplishment for us," Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. "They’re such a great program and they have such a great mystique about them and such a great tradition that it’s really tough to go in there and win that game. We’re feeling great about it, but we also know that we have more work to do, and we look forward to that."

Cantabene said one key was the defense’s handcuffing of a Salisbury offense that has averaged 17 goals prior to Saturday’s contest. The six goals scored by the Sea Gulls were the lowest since March 16, 2008 when they beat Denison, 6-3.

Cantabene said the defense got a boost from the play of senior goalkeeper Geoff Hebert (13 saves) and senior defenseman Evan Douglass, who caused seven turnovers, collected four groundballs, and limited Salisbury sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman to one goal on 1-of-9 shooting.

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April 24, 2010

Salisbury & Stevenson: Together again

When No. 1 Salisbury and No. 3 Stevenson meet on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the championship final of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament at Sea Gulls Stadium in Salisbury, these teams will have faced each other five times in less than two full seasons.

Much of that has to do with occupying space in the same conference, but since both schools are in the South region, they could meet for a sixth time in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, Salisbury coach Jim Berkman is banking on that.

"The reality of the situation is that unless somebody stumbles, this is probably going to be the fifth of six times this year," he said. "I don’t see any way around it, that either in the quarterfinals or semifinals [of the NCAA Tournament] and if both teams keep playing to the level that they’ve played all year, they’re on a collision course to meet for a sixth time. The game probably wasn’t drawn up to be that way, the physical nature in terms of having to play a team three times in a season. But it is what it is, and I don’t see that going away in the future. I see two teams that are going to be here and be on the national scene. The reality of the situation is, we’re in the same conference, and we’re probably going to end up playing each other two or three times a year for probably a while."

Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene also sounded resigned to the fact of multiple meetings in a single year. But he also said the team looked forward to challenging a program as storied as the Sea Gulls’.

"They’re what we want to be," he said. "They’re the top program in Division III and we want to be there. We don’t think we’re too far behind. We have great respect for what they do, but we do meet a lot. I don’t think we’re meant to meet this many times in college lacrosse, but that’s what we have to do."

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

April 23, 2010

Salisbury playing for 16th straight conference title

When No. 1 Salisbury takes the field at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday, the team will be playing against No. 3 Stevenson for the school’s 16th consecutive Capital Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

In fact, the Sea Gulls have never lost a CAC title since joining the conference in 1995. That history is not lost on the players, according to coach Jim Berkman.

"I think anybody that plays for the Salisbury Sea Gulls knows the tradition of our team and the things that have transpired here," he said. "We talk about how it’s a special place to play and how the guys before have done an awful lot and now it’s up to them to uphold that tradition. They’re aware of where we’ve been and where we want to be."

While that legacy is something to marvel at, it can be a weighty reminder of the expectations placed upon a program, especially one that has captured eight NCAA championships.

"I don’t know if it’s a burden as much as it is hopefully a motivator," Berkman said. "We’ve got to work real hard and do all of the little things so tht we can be at the level of play that we need to be to keep this thing going. I think that’s been critical for this year’s team."

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

April 22, 2010

Hebert makes difference in return for Stevenson

After sitting out eight games with a broken left pinkie finger, Geoff Hebert returned to the field, and the senior goalkeeper’s impact on No. 3 Stevenson was immediate.

The Mustangs sprinted past St. Mary’s in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday, cruising to a 16-3 victory. Compare that 13-goal margin of victory with the 13-10 decision Stevenson claimed in a regular-season meeting with the Seahawks on April 13, and it’s clear that Hebert is a key cog for the Mustangs (15-1), who next face No. 1 Salisbury in the CAC final on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.

"He’s such a leader of our defense," coach Paul Cantabene said. "He knows the defense so well, and he’s able to call out when to go and when not to go. That was the biggest thing he brought back to us. It was great to have him out there, and I think it really showed."

Hebert, who stopped 17 of St. Mary’s shots, wore a little extra padding around the finger for protection, but Cantabene said he had no reservations about about starting him.

"He was ready to play, and we were going to play him," Cantabene said. "I don’t think you lose your position by injury. Geoff was the starter beforehand and he was going to go back to being the starter. The other goalies knew that. [Sophomore] Ian [Bolland], [freshman] Pete [Wesselman] and [senior] Andrew [Harrington] did such a great job of getting us through this month without him. So we had no qualms about putting him in."

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Categories: Stevenson
        

April 21, 2010

CAC Tournament date for Stevenson, St. Mary's

Wednesday marks the semifinal round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament with top seed and Division III’s top-ranked team Salisbury playing host to No. 5 seed Mary Washington. It’s a rematch of an earlier contest that the Sea Gulls won, 15-7, on March 31.

The other semifinal pits No. 3 seed St. Mary’s visiting No. 2 seed Stevenson at 4 p.m. at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills. The Mustangs (14-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference) defeated the Seahawks (9-5, 5-2), 13-10, on April 13, but the game was a lot tighter than the final score indicated, according to both coaches.

St. Mary’s outshot Stevenson, 24-11, in the second half and committed nine fewer turnovers over the same span. But the Seahawks converted just 3-of-11 extra-man opportunities, which included failing to score when three Mustangs were serving a one-minute penalty at the same time.

"The problem with man up is, one ill-advised shot and you’ve lost the opportunity," St. Mary’s coach Chris Hasbrouck said. "I think that’s what happened a couple times. I think the biggest thing was, they went three-men down for a minute, and we took two bad shots that missed the goal and had a third shot that rang the pipe. I don’t want to say that was a turning point, but it’s certainly something that we’ve talked about as a team. We had great looks, we just didn’t finish. One or two shots might’ve made things different."

Hasbrouck also pointed out that Stevenson sophomore goalkeeper Ian Bolland made 13 of his game-high 16 saves in the second half. Hasbrouck said the Seahawks must be choosier with their shot selection.

Continue reading "CAC Tournament date for Stevenson, St. Mary's" »

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Categories: St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

April 19, 2010

Waiting for Geoff

Stevenson, the No. 3 team in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division III poll, has been humming along nicely. That humming would likely be a lot louder if Geoff Hebert was in the lineup.

The senior goalkeeper has not played since breaking the pinkie finger on his left hand in the Mustangs' 12-9 victory over then-No. 18 Lynchburg on March 20. The Lutherville native and Dulaney graduate was perfect in seven starts, registering a 6.91 goals-against average and a .631 saves percentage.

Coach Paul Cantabene said the team is hopeful that Hebert can return in the near future.

"Geoff’s week by week," he said. "We’re not sure yet. He’s waiting to see the doctor in another day or two. We’re just waiting to hear what the doctor has to say, to make sure that it’s healing. We don’t want to go in there and then all of a sudden, it’s one shot, and he hurts it again. The health of the kid is the most important here."

Continue reading "Waiting for Geoff" »

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Categories: Stevenson
        

April 5, 2010

Stevenson's Douglass avoids serious injury

No. 1 Stevenson's 16-10 loss to No. 2 Salisbury on Saturday was just one bit of bad news for the Mustangs that day.

Senior defenseman Evan Douglass had to leave the game with 7:26 left in the first quarter because a shot struck him in the stomach and caused him to bleed from the mouth.

Fortunately, the injury is not that serious as Douglass was diagnosed with bruised ribs and a bruised lung and could return in a couple weeks, Mustangs coach Paul Cantabene confirmed Monday.

"He's out of the hospital," Cantabene said. "He suffered bruised ribs and a bruised lung, so it looks like a week to two weeks. But he's all right. He's going to have to sit down for a while so that no other complications come about it. But he should be all right in a week or two."

Cantabene said the earliest Douglass could return is for the April 13th game against Capital Athletic Conference foe St. Mary's. But there is some consideration to holding him back until the CAC Tournament begins five days later.

"We've got to be very careful," Cantabene said. "If we bring him back too early, it could be a season-ending injury. ... We've got to think about health first because that was a scary scene."

Cantabene said freshman Kyle Finley will likely replace Douglass in the starting lineup and that sophomores Dan O'Donnell, Brooks DiFiore and Mathew Schenck could get some playing time.

"We think we can still play good defense," Cantabene said. "Our system is still what it is. That's why you recruit, to get good depth. I think Kyle will do a great job stepping in for Evan."

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Categories: Stevenson
        

April 3, 2010

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

It doesn’t get any more thrilling than this: No. 2 Salisbury at No. 1 Stevenson at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday at 2 p.m. Here are a few developments that factor into the outcome.

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson, Three things to watch
        

March 29, 2010

Stevenson, Salisbury top latest Division III rankings

As expected, Stevenson and Salisbury moved to the top of the USILA Division III poll Monday afternoon.

The Mustangs, who had been ranked No. 2, moved one spot to No. 1. Stevenson improved to 9-0 after thrashing then-No. 7 Roanoke, 18-9, on Saturday.

The Sea Gulls are No. 2 after being No. 3 a week ago. Salisbury edged then-No. 1 Gettysburg, 11-10, in overtime, improving to 10-0. The Bullets are ranked No. 3.

The moves mean that the Mustangs and Sea Gulls will meet in a showdown between Nos. 1 and 2 when Salisbury visits the Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday at 2 p.m. The outcome will have ramifications on the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament and could impact seedings for the NCAA Tournament.

Last year, Stevenson won the regular-season meeting, 12-8, to snap the Sea Gulls' 105-game unbeaten streak against CAC opponents. Salisbury turned the tables in the CAC Tournament, routing the Mustangs, 13-5, for the tournament championship. But Stevenson had the last laugh with an 11-9 victory in a NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.

Posted by Edward Lee at 5:37 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

Salisbury makes move to top of the class

The latest USILA Division III poll has yet to be replaced, but Salisbury figures to be somewhere in the top two spots.

That’s because the No. 3 Sea Gulls nipped No. 1 Gettysburg, 11-10, in overtime this past Saturday. Sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman’s goal off a feed from junior midfielder Shawn Zordani with 15 seconds left in the extra period helped Salisbury improve to 10-0 and hand the Bullets their first loss of the season in 10 contests.

"I think it’s a significant win in regards to another quality win for the NCAA Tournament," coach Jim Berkman said Monday morning. "When we start to talk about power rankings and all of that other stuff for the Division III Tournament, that was a pretty significant win to making the tournament, hosting games, and all of that other kind of stuff that goes with it."

The key for the Sea Gulls was jumping out to leads of 5-0 and 6-1 before the first quarter even ended. That cushion helped the team especially as Gettysburg made a comeback and tied the score at 10 with 39 seconds left in regulation.

Continue reading "Salisbury makes move to top of the class" »

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

Backup goalie shines for Stevenson

After No. 2 Stevenson’s 18-9 victory over No. 7 Roanoke Saturday, it was hard to tell which storyline was more surprising: that the Mustangs (9-0) won so easily or that they won without their starting goalkeeper.

Senior Geoff Hebert, who has started the team’s first seven games, broke his pinkie finger while turning away the last shot of Stevenson’s 12-9 win against then-No. 18 Lynchburg on March 20. So senior Andrew Harrington has started the last two contests, including the rout of the Maroons (8-2).

"I was nervous because it was the first real big game that I had played here," said Harrington, who made a career-high eight saves. "But it wasn’t overwhelming. … I was just back in the game, and I felt like I could play."

Harrington surrendered six goals in the first half, but buckled down in the third and fourth quarters, which is when he registered six stops.

Hebert, a Lutherville native and Dulaney graduate, underwent surgery on the broken finger, and coach Paul Cantabene said Hebert is "50-50" to return this season.

Continue reading "Backup goalie shines for Stevenson" »

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Categories: Stevenson
        

March 26, 2010

Stevenson in midst of difficult stretch

When No. 2 Stevenson welcomes No. 7 Roanoke to the Caves Athletics Complex in Owings Mills on Saturday at 1 p.m., the Mustangs (8-0) will be playing against their fourth ranked opponent in their last six games.

And that’s not coincidental, according to Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene.

"We like to play the best teams possible," he said. "You’ve got to play a great schedule NCAA-wise, and for us to play that type of schedule really gets us ready to play the Roanokes and the Salisburys of the world, and we like that. We don’t like to play a lot of teams where you win by a ton. We want to play the top teams because we think that’s fun to do and it really gets us ready for NCAA play."

The Mustangs’ undefeated start was almost derailed last Saturday when they found themselves trailing No. 18 Lynchburg, 5-0, with 8:02 left in the second quarter and lagging, 7-5, after the third period. But Stevenson embarked on a 5-0 run over a 5:31 span to an eventual 12-9 victory.

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Categories: Stevenson
        

March 22, 2010

Stevenson's Kazimer honored by conference

Stevenson senior attackman Steve Kazimer was selected as the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week after compiling 13 points in two victories over nationally-ranked teams.

In the No. 2 Mustangs' 16-11 win against No. 15 Stevens last Wednesday, Kazimer registered three goals and three assists. Three days later, he posted three goals and four assists in a 12-9 victory over No. 18 Lynchburg.

Kazimer leads Stevenson in assists (20) and points (38).

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Categories: Stevenson
        

March 7, 2010

Western New England at Stevenson: Three things to watch

No. 2 Stevenson welcomes the first of five ranked opponents when No. 16 Western New England visits the Caves Athletic Complex on Sunday at 1 p.m. Here are three keys to a Mustangs victory.

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Categories: Stevenson, Three things to watch
        

March 6, 2010

One uneducated analysis of Tewaaraton Trophy watch list

The Tewaaraton Trophy watch list was released yesterday, and 17 of the names belong to players who currently play for Maryland-based programs or hail from the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Johns Hopkins leads the way locally with three nominees in senior attackman Steven Boyle, senior defenseman Matt Drenan and senior midfielder Michael Kimmel.

Maryland and Navy have two each. The Terps are represented by junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell and junior attackman Tim Paul, while the Midshipmen include senior attackman Tim Paul and sophomore defenseman Matt Vernam.

Loyola has a nominee in senior attackman Collin Finnerty, while UMBC has senior attackman Kyle Wimer.

In addition, Stevenson is represented by senior attackman Steve Kazimer and junior attackman Jimmy Dailey.

Players with ties to the Baltimore area include Virginia senior midfielder Brian Carroll (Towson/Gilman), Georgetown senior defenseman Barney Ehrmann (Baltimore/Gilman), junior attackman Andrew Feinberg (Owings Mills/McDonogh), Princeton sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito (Phoenix/McDonogh), Notre Dame senior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis/St. Mary's) and Virginia sophomore attackman Steele Stanwick (Baltimore/Loyola).

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, UMBC
        

February 26, 2010

Additional information for Stevenson games at Towson

Because the Stevenson women's lacrosse game against Ursinus at 4:30 p.m. and the men's contests against Kean at 7 p.m. have been moved to Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium this Saturday, here is some important information for fans who plan to attend.

Admission is free, but there will be no concessions. Additionally, fans who intend to arrive early should be aware that the Tigers men's team will play host to No. 17 Bucknell at 1 p.m.

Spectators should park in either lots 13 or 14 on the north side of the stadium off Olser Drive. Seating will be limited to sections 101 to 107 on the north side of the stadium, and spectators will be asked to enter through Gate C. Inform the parking attendants that you are visiting to watch the Stevenson games, and the parking fee will be waived.

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Categories: Stevenson, Towson
        

February 24, 2010

Snow forces Stevenson to move home openers to Towson

The storms that dumped massive amounts of snow on the Baltimore metropolitan area have forced Stevenson to move Saturday's home openers for its men's and women's lacrosse teams from Caves Athletic Complex to neighboring Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Mustangs women's squad will play against Ursinus at 4:30 p.m., and the men will play host to Kean at 7 p.m. Both games will come on the heels of the Tigers men's game against No. 17 Bucknell at 1 p.m.

Admission to both Stevenson contests is free, but concessions will be unavailable.

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Categories: Stevenson, Towson
        

February 23, 2010

Stevenson offering lacrosse course to the public

Drawing on the excitement surrounding the men's lacrosse team that is ranked No. 2  by Inside Lacrosse in Division III, Stevenson University is offering a lacrosse course to anyone interested.

LAX 101 is a one-hour, non-credit course that promises to teach the rules of the game and the techniques used by players to students, faculty, alumni and the general public. Those who attend will be treated to a preview of the upcoming 2010 season, stick and ball demonstrations by the players, and even a chance to try some moves themselves.

The course will be taught by "professors" Paul Cantabene, the head coach of the men's team, and Kathy Railey, the head coach of the women's team.

The course will take place on Thursday between 12 and 1 p.m. at the bubble formerly owned by the Ravens at the school's Owings Mills campus. For more information, call 410-352-4483. If you plan to attend, call that number and reserve a spot (or two) so that the university can prepare enough food and refreshments.

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Categories: Stevenson
        

February 19, 2010

Stevenson preview

After taking a look at the Division I schools in Maryland, let’s take a spin with the Division III teams. Today’s entry is the sixth of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division III programs in this state according to alphabetical order. Tomorrow’s subject will be Washington, but today is Stevenson’s turn.

Overview: The 2009 season was a banner year for the Mustangs, who collected a school-record 17 wins, ended Salisbury's 105-game winning streak against Capital Athletic Conference opponents, and fell just one victory short of reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game. The cupboard is full, which is why many lacrosse observers are penciling in Stevenson for the finale. Coach Paul Cantabene isn't quite as willing to go that far, but he is hopeful that the team will make the strides it needs to make to improve on last year's finish.

Reason for optimism: Much of the talk about the Mustangs begins with their vaunted attack unit, which returns all three starters who led the team in scoring last year. Senior Steve Kazimer, who registered 33 goals and 36 assists, is the preseason Player of the Year. Junior and Winters Mill graduate Jimmy Dailey led the offense in assists (37) and added 29 goals, while senior Richie Ford (Towson) scored a team-high 42 goals and chipped in 13 assists. "It’s a huge luxury having them all come back together," Cantabene said. "Those guys know the system, they know the offense, and they know what to do. They’ve been under the pressure and been in tight games. They know what I want, and they know how to react. So that makes it a whole lot easier.

Continue reading "Stevenson preview" »

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Categories: Review & preview, Stevenson
        

May 23, 2009

Stevenson's Greg Furshman named MVP of North-South game

Senior Greg Furshman earned Most Valuable Player honors at the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III North-South game Friday at Harvard Stadium in Boston. The midfielder registered five points on three goals and two assists.

Overall, it was a pretty good day to be a Mustang. In addition to Furshman, senior midfielder Nicola Bevacqua posted one goal and two assists, and senior defenseman Mike Simon finished with three takeaways. (Thanks to Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene for updating me with the news.)

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Categories: Stevenson
        

May 19, 2009

Area Division III players named All Americans

The USILA released its All American teams in Division III and a number of area players populate the list.

Stevenson, which finished the regular season ranked No. 1 and advanced to the school's first NCAA tournament semifinal, put attackmen Steve Kazimer and Jimmy Dailey on the first team. They were joined by Salisbury midfielder Kylor Berkman and Washington goalkeeper Gordon Cohen.

The Mustangs placed two more players on the second team: midfielder Nicola Bevacqua and defenseman Mike Simon. Salisbury defenseman Kevin Maynard was the only area representative on the third team.

The honorable mention list included Stevenson attackman Richie Ford and midfielder Greg Furshman, Salisbury attackman Matt Cannone and midfielder Mike Von Kamecke, Washington midfielder Thayer Damm, McDaniel midfielder Michael Hatton and St. Mary's midfielder Marc DiPasquale.

Update on Wednesday, May 20: I mistakenly left off St. Mary's midfielder Ryan Alexander from the All-American honorable mention list. Thanks to Seahawks sports information director Nairem Moran for pointing out the omission. My apologies to Ryan.

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: McDaniel, Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson, Washington
        

May 18, 2009

Postscript from Gettysburg at Stevenson

The end of the Mustangs’ historic 2009 campaign – which included a program-record 17 wins, the school’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in any sport and the institution’s first appearance in a NCAA tournament semifinal – leads one to wonder: what’s in store for 2010?

Assuming that none of the current seniors on the roster have fifth years of eligibility remaining, Stevenson will bid farewell to its first midfield line of Nicola Bevacqua (31 goals and eight assists), Greg Furshman (23, 5) and Chris Baldwin (18, 10). The Mustangs will also graduate top close defenseman Mike Simon and long-stick midfielder Austin Hale.

But the cupboard is actually fuller than one might think. The team’s top-three scorers are underclassmen, and junior Steve Kazimer (33, 36), sophomore Jimmy Dailey (29, 37) and junior Richie Ford (42, 13) make up the starting attack.

Sophomores Evan Douglass and Ian Hart make up two-thirds of the close defenseman that will patrol the area in front of junior goalkeeper Geoff Hebert (7.04 goals-against average and .594 save percentage). Sophomore faceoff specialists Ray Witte (.542 percentage) and Joe Valderas (.589) will likely fill the void created by the departure of Furshman (.637).

Coach Paul Cantabene refused to let the 12-7 loss to No. 5 Gettysburg shape his team’s legacy.

"This team is a success," he insisted in his post-game comments after Sunday’s contest. "We changed a culture here at Stevenson. I told the guys in there that I’m proud of every single one of those guys. Not one guy let me down this season."

Ford said the objective next season is to advance further in the NCAA tournament. "Hopefully, we can just keep working and keep building it higher and get past this game," the Baltimore native and Towson graduate said. "Next year, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I think everybody’s willing to put in the time this summer to get where we want to be."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Gettysburg at Stevenson" »

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Categories: Postscript, Stevenson
        

May 16, 2009

Gettysburg at Stevenson: Three things to watch

The Mustangs are in unfamiliar territory, having reached the NCAA tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. For a shot at either Cortland State or Middlebury in the championship final next Sunday, here are three factors Stevenson (17-1) must take advantage of in its semifinal game against Gettysburg (15-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills.

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Categories: Stevenson, Three things to watch
        

May 14, 2009

Stevenson revels in first NCAA tournament semifinal in school history

After the Mustangs’ 12-8 win against Salisbury on April 4, I asked coach Paul Cantabene about the importance of that victory, which snapped the Sea Gulls’ 105-game winning streak in the Capital Athletic Conference.

On Thursday, we had a similar conversation, in which I asked Cantabene to elaborate on the significance of his team’s 11-9 win, a victory that bounced eight-time reigning national champion Salisbury out of the NCAA tournament quarterfinal round.

"It’s pretty meaningful because it’s the first time a program at our school has ever been to the national semifinals," he said. "If you’re considering it from that aspect, I think that it means more than the first time because it’s more significant to the program. But I think it means a lot to us to beat a conference foe for the second time in the season in kind of like a three-game series. I think it meant a lot more to the guys because of how we played in that second game [a 13-5 loss to the Sea Gulls at home on April 19]. I thought we were a little embarrassed by how we played. Usually, you don’t play that way at home, and we were a little embarrassed by that. So I thought they came out with a good chip on their shoulders and got the job done. … I think it just proves that our program is moving on. Each game is another step for us in the development of the program."

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

A rare early exit for Salisbury

The No. 2 Sea Gulls’ 11-9 loss to top-ranked Stevenson Wednesday in the NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinals wasn’t what you would label as a typical upset.

After all, Salisbury had dropped a 12-8 decision to the Mustangs on April 4, and this current Sea Gulls squad (16-4) had incurred more losses since 2002, when that team went 13-5. And after Salisbury had beaten Stevenson to capture the Capital Athletic Conference tournament title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament, Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman acknowledged his the team had been in danger of being shut out of the NCAA tournament.

Still, Salisbury’s abbreviated stay in the NCAA tournament is a little surprising. It is the first time the program has not played in a tournament semifinal since 2002. And consider this: the Sea Gulls have played in 14 semifinals since Berkman became the head coach prior to the 1989 season. In those same 21 years, Salisbury has made 10 championship final appearances and won eight of those games.

The Sea Gulls’ loss also ended the career of Kylor Berkman. The reigning National Player of the Year and two-time Midfielder of the Year, Berkman finished his career ranked second on the school’s all-time list in career points (298) and assists (170) behind Jason Coffman (451, 202).

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

May 13, 2009

Salisbury at Stevenson: Three things to watch

Much will be at stake when the eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (16-3) visit the top-ranked Mustangs (16-1) Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinal. These three developments could have an impact on the outcome.

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson, Three things to watch
        

May 12, 2009

Salisbury, Stevenson to meet in Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals

When the top-ranked Mustangs and No. 2 Sea Gulls meet for the third time this season in the Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Stevenson, comparisons will be made to Game 7 in a NBA or NHL playoff series.

Paul Cantabene prefers another sports analogy.

"I would say it’s more like an Ali-Frazier match," the Stevenson coach said. "Here are two teams that have taken every punch thrown by each other, and we’re going for round three to see who the better team is. There’s definitely going to be that intensity. Both teams have been very much into the games and left everything on the field both times. This game is going to have a great atmosphere to it, and both teams are going to be ready to play."

The winner Wednesday earns the right to face the winner of Gettysburg-Denison in a semifinal on Sunday, but deciding the rubber match in the series between these Capital Athletic Conference rivals is the first priority.

The Mustangs (16-1) won the first meeting on April 4, scoring a 12-8 decision that snapped Salisbury’s 105-game winning streak against CAC foes. The eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (16-3) returned the favor 15 days later, blasting Stevenson, 13-5, in the conference tournament final.

So it’s safe to say that both sides know what to anticipate Wednesday.

Continue reading "Salisbury, Stevenson to meet in Division III NCAA tournament quarterfinals" »

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Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

May 4, 2009

Salisbury and Stevenson in Division III tournament

With much attention centered on the Division I tournament, let’s recognize the inclusion of Salisbury and Stevenson in the Division III tournament.

The No. 5 and eight-time reigning national champion Sea Gulls (15-3) earned the automatic qualifier after winning the Capital Athletic Conference tournament and will visit No. 8 Haverford (13-3) in a second-round game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The No. 4 Mustangs (15-1) earned a first-round bye and will play host to the winner of Montclair State-No. 14 Cabrini in the second round on Saturday at 1 p.m.

If both Salisbury and Stevenson win, the teams would meet in a quarterfinal on Wednesday, May 13. The CAC rivals have split the season series with the Mustangs winning, 12-8, on April 4 and the Sea Gulls returning the favor, 13-5, in the CAC tournament final on April 19.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

April 24, 2009

Capital Athletic Conference honorees announced

Sea Gulls senior midfielder Kylor Berkman was named Player of the Year in the Capital Athletic Conference, becoming the fourth player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Freshman attackman Matt Cannone was recognized as the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

With Berkman, the reigning Division III National Player of the Year and two-time National Midfielder of the Year, the four players to win the award in consecutive years are from Salisbury. Berkman, who leads the team in assists (39) and points (74), joins Jason Coffman (1995-96), Chris Turner (1999-2000) and Chase Caruso (2006-07). A Sea Gulls player has been selected the CAC Player of the Year every year since the school joined the league in 1995.

Cannone leads Salisbury in goals (49) and man-up scores (nine), and he has also posted 13 assists. Cannone joins Jarod Leiberman (1998), Andy Arnold (2001) and Jeff Bigas (2002) as the only Sea Gulls to collect conference rookie of the year honors.

In addition to Berkman and Cannone, senior defenseman Kevin Maynard, junior face-off specialist Ryan Finch (Westminster) and junior defensive midfielder Will Poletis (Loyola) were placed on the second team.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury, St. Mary's, Stevenson
        

April 5, 2009

Stevenson nets significant victory over Salisbury

Many coaches try to dilute the significance of a win -- or loss -- sticking to the time-honored cliché of one game at a time. Thank goodness for us, coach Paul Cantabene, whose No. 1 Mustangs tagged eight-time reigning national Division III champion Salisbury its first loss in the Capital Athletic Conference in 106 games on Saturday night, is not one of those coaches.

"It’s a big victory," Cantabene said. "Any time you can go out there and recruit and say that you beat Salisbury, I think that gives you a leg up, and we’ll continue to hold the No. 1 ranking, which is great. It also gives us home-field advantage throughout the CAC tournament, which is huge, to play the championship game at home. That’s something that Salisbury, which has had such a great run and such a great program, has always been able to play at home. To get back to that game, they have to come to us, which is something that is a little bit different for them."

The Sea Gulls hadn’t lost since joining the conference in 1995, capturing 14 league titles. Unless Stevenson (11-0 overall and 5-0 in the CAC) loses its last two conference games to Marymount (5-6, 1-4) and Hood (1-11, 0-5), Salisbury (11-2, 5-1) will have to defend its league championship outside the friendly confines of Sea Gulls Stadium.

The Mustangs clung to a 6-5 lead at halftime, and after Salisbury junior midfielder Mike Von Kamecke scored 77 seconds into the third quarter to tie the game, Stevenson went on a 5-0 run to put the contest out of reach.

"I thought the big factor was we knew we could win the game," Cantabene said. "When you’ve played Salisbury over the years, your hope is to stay close. I think our kids knew that if they played well, they could win the game. I think the other factor was we played very patiently in the third quarter and really tired them out a little bit. They fouled us a lot because we had them on defense so much that they kind of got a little tired, and that’s when we made them pay for their little mistakes."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:53 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson
        

March 30, 2009

Stevenson is new No. 1 in Division III

The Mustangs were named the No. 1 team in the latest edition of the USILA Division III Coaches poll, which was released earlier today. So the target that had been squarely on Salisbury, which dropped to No. 4, has been moved to Stevenson, formerly known as Villa Julie.

"It’s a different feeling than this program has ever had," said coach Paul Cantabene, who owns a 52-23 record in more than four seasons with the Mustangs. "We’ve always been kind of the hunter and never the hunted, but I think we’re old enough to handle that change. … There’s a lot of parity in lacrosse now and a lot of great teams. Everyone’s good, and we have to know that we have to come prepared to play every day now. You can’t take any days off."

Cantabene and his players have turned around a program that has enjoyed winning campaigns in each of its last three seasons. Stevenson (9-0 overall and 3-0 in the Capital Athletic Conference) has won nine consecutive regular-season games and will depart for a two-game road swing capped by a visit with the Sea Gulls in a contest that could determine home-field advantage in the season-ending CAC Tournament. The lacrosse team is the first in the school's 15-year athletic history to collect a No. 1 ranking.

"Despite today's ranking, we still have a lot more to accomplish," Cantabene told the school's Web site. "Our goal is to win a CAC championship, earn our first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, and play for a national title."

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:01 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Stevenson
        

March 18, 2009

Salisbury gets lucky with Cannone

Winning has its privileges. Just ask Sea Gulls coach Jim Berkman.

Freshman attackman Matt Cannone leads the country among Division III players in goals with 30, and Berkman admitted that the eight-time national championship school scored a coup with attracting Cannone, who transferred from Delaware.

"Once you build a program, there are some things that do come to you, and you get kind of lucky once in a while," Berkman said. "He was the lefty that we needed. We lost Matt Hickman, a first-team All American at that left-handed attack spot, and he has really filled the void with maybe even some skills that we didn’t have last year. He’s a dodger and he can score and he’s a shooter. He’s a good player."

With an 8-0 start, Salisbury has won 53 consecutive games and has not lost a regular-season contest since 2003, a span of 85 games that is not lost on the players and coaches.

"We talk about it now and again," Berkman said. "I don’t think it’s a major point of emphasis, but we do talk about it when we need to drop a little energy. It helps to get them in focus and not only make them realize what they’ve accomplished, but also what’s at stake so that we get the effort that’s needed so that they don’t let it get away."

Other Division III notes:

*The school formerly known as Villa Julie set a new program record for most consecutive wins to begin the season. Stevenson’s 19-3 victory over Wooster yesterday improved the team to 7-0, besting the previous mark of six set in 2007. The Mustangs have won 10 consecutive regular-season contests and seven straight at home.

*Washington collected two weekly awards when the Centennial Conference tabbed Jimmy Kielek and Thom Cecere as the league’s Offense and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. Kielek, a senior attackman and an Archbishop Curley graduate, totaled four goals and six assists in two games last week, including a hat trick and four assists in a 16-7 win against Muhlenberg on Saturday. Cecere, a junior defenseman and St. Mary’s graduate, posted seven groundballs and three caused turnovers last week, and he scored his first collegiate goal in a 11-7 victory over Hampden-Sydney on Wednesday.

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:18 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Salisbury, Stevenson, Washington
        

March 5, 2009

Stevenson reels in a big one

Last season, Stevenson (formerly known as Villa Julie) dropped tough games against top-15 opponents, losing 13-12 to No. 1 Salisbury, 10-9 to No. 2 Gettysburg and 14-8 to No. 12 Lynchburg.

The Mustangs finally broke through the ceiling, walloping No. 2 Gettysburg, 16-6, yesterday. Sophomore attackman Jimmy Dailey led Stevenson with seven points on four goals and three assists, and junior attackman Richie Ford (Towson) added four goals and an assist as Stevenson knocked off its first top-5 opponent since a 10-9 victory over No. 3 Cortland State on Feb. 24, 2007.

Coach Paul Cantabene agreed that the outcome was significant to the team's psyche.

"It was pretty meaningful for our program because last year, we came so close, losing to them by a goal and Salisbury by a goal and a tough game against Lynchburg where we came up just a little short," he said. "So I think yesterday, the guys put it all together, and it gives us a great in-region win, so that hopefully in May, when the selection committee looks at it, we've got a good in-region win."

The Mustangs' upset was powered by 10 unanswered goals spanning the first three quarters that turned a 2-1 deficit into a nine-goal cushion.

"They were up 2-1 and kind of banging the ball around. We got a break to get it to 2-2, and I thought one of the bigger keys was we interrupted one of their clears and were able to score right off that, and then we got one right off the faceoff after that," Cantabene said. "We kind of really got it going then. That was kind of a key moment right there. I think we kind of told them that we're in this for the game and that we weren't going anywhere." 

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:59 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Stevenson
        
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