Banick Leads No. 3 Mustangs Past Albright in Commonwealth Opener, 12-8

READING, Pa. - Stevenson men's lacrosse sophomore Stephen Banick totaled four goals and five points as the third-ranked Mustangs overcame a three-goal, first-period deficit en route to a 12-8 victory over Albright Saturday in the Commonwealth Conference opener for both teams at Gene L. Shirk Stadium.

With the win, Stevenson (3-1, 1-0 MAC) improved its record to 13-0 all-time in conference openers, including 10-0 under head coach Paul Cantabene.

Led by a goal and an assist from T.J. Holston, the Lions built a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, scoring all three goals over the final 4:18 with the final tally coming with just nine seconds remaining.

The last time the Mustangs were held scoreless in a quarter was back on Apr. 20, 2013 in a 10-6 victory at Widener when the Pride held them scoreless in the third quarter, a streak of 13 games and 46 quarters.

In addition, Stevenson's three-goal deficit was its largest after the first quarter since it trailed Washington 5-2 on May 11, 2013 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.

However, led by three goals and one assist from Banick, the Mustangs outscored Albright 5-1 in the second quarter and led 5-4 at the half. Three of the team's goals came with the man-advantage. Stevenson finished the game 4-for-10 with the extra-man, including 3-for-4 in the second quarter.

The run keyed a 10-2 spurt for the Mustangs who took their largest lead of the game at 10-5 with 9:23 remaining in the fourth quarter following the second goal of the game for senior Glen Tompkins.

Ryan Turner would score back-to-back just 40 seconds apart to pull Albright (1-2, 0-1 MAC) within three with 8:14 to play, but Banick and junior Josh Rufolo scored a mere 36 seconds apart with just over four minutes remaining to push the lead back to five, 12-7.

Tompkins finished with two goals and one assist while senior Billy Burgoyne also scored twice.

Stevenson won 16-of-23 face-offs, including 11-of-13 in the second half, but was whistled for five face-off violations, three of which came in the second quarter. The Lions were also called for three in the quarter.

Sophomore Dimitri Pecunes had seven saves while counterpart Jordan DiZenzo made 17 for Albright.

Holston and Turner combined for seven of the Lions' eight goals with Holston finishing with four goals and one assist. Phil Potter added four assists.

Stevenson begins a five-game homestand this Wednesday, March 12 when the Mustangs host a Commonwealth Conference contest versus Elizabethtown at Mustang Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m.