Mustangs Beat Salisbury to Head to First-Ever National Championship Game
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Led by three goals each from junior Chris Dashiell (Salisbury, Md./Parkside) and senior Tyler Reid (Clinton, Conn./Xavier), the Stevenson men's lacrosse team advanced to its first-ever national championship game after the No. 4 Mustangs defeated rival Salisbury Sunday night at Mustang Stadium 12-6 in front of a record 2,311 fans.
Stevenson (21-2), who was winless in three previous national semifinal appearances, including 0-2 against the Sea Gulls, improved its record to 15-1 at home this season while extending its winning streak to 10. It is the Mustangs' longest win streak since they started 10-0 in 2010.
Stevenson, who has outscored its opponents 125-33 in the first quarter this season, jumped out to an a 5-1 advantage after one on Sunday thanks to two goals from senior Nick Rossi (Lutherville, Md./Towson) and one goal and one assist from sophomore Pat Candon (Long Beach, N.Y./Trinity).
The Mustangs won 5-of-7 faceoffs in the opening quarter and scored on five of their first eight shots.
Salisbury (17-6) responded with back-to-back goals just 1:04 apart to start the second quarter and pull within two, but Stevenson scored the final four, including three from Dashiell as it led 9-3 at halftime.
The Sea Gulls outshot Stevenson 10-6 in the third quarter, but managed to score just one goal thanks to five saves from freshman Dimitri Pecunes (Lutherville, Md./Calvert Hall) who finished the game with seven.
The Mustangs swept both games against its former Capital Athletic Conference rival this season after having lost four-straight in the series. Stevenson also snapped a three-game home losing streak to the Sea Gulls dating back to 2009.
Tonight's attendance was the largest crowd in team history, surpassing the mark of 2,184 that saw Salisbury edge out an 11-10 victory on Apr. 4, 2012.
Stevenson is now 28-2 in two seasons at Mustang Stadium.
Brady Dashiell led the 12th-ranked Sea Gulls with three goals and one assist while Rhett DePol added a goal and three assists. Tyler Smith had two goals and Alex Taylor finished with nine saves.
The Mustangs will face a rematch with RIT in the national championship game next Sunday, May 26 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stevenson defeated the Tigers 12-11 in overtime back on February 27 at Mustang Stadium.
No. 3 RIT also advanced to its first-ever national title game after defeating No. 1 and undefeated Cortland on the road Sunday, 10-9 in overtime.