OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Stevenson University men's lacrosse team capped the regular season by holding off Widener for an 11-10 MAC Commonwealth victory on Senior Night at Mustang Stadium.
The Mustangs (10-6, 8-0 MAC Commonwealth) finished the regular season unbeaten in conference play for the sixth straight year and are 48-0 all-time in the regular season in the conference. Stevenson has won six in a row and 10 of its last 11 games.
Widener (6-10, 5-3 MAC Commonwealth) trailed 11-8 entering the fourth quarter but cut Stevenson's lead to 11-9 at the 11:43 mark on a goal by Ben Davis. The Pride made it a one-goal game as Mitchell Phillips scored with 1:46 remaining.
The visitors won the faceoff that followed and a shot by Mitchell Phillips, who had scored the previous goal, with 1:06 left was saved by Stevenson's Sam Ross. Senior Austin Howard picked up the ground ball and the Mustangs were able to clear and called a timeout with 41 seconds left. Stevenson maintained possession the rest of the way to seal the win.
Stevenson led 8-6 at halftime and scored twice on a two-minute non-releasable penalty midway through the frame. Junior JT Thelen scored at the 8:51 mark, followed by an Ethan Christensen tally at 8:14. Two Widener goals late in the period pulled the Pride back within 10-8, but Thelen scored with 19 seconds in the quarter to give the hosts a three-goal lead entering the final frame.
Down 2-0, Stevenson scored three goals in the final 4:04 of the first quarter to lead 3-2 after one. Widener tied things 1:37 into the second quarter, before back-to-back man-up goals by Gray McKee at 11:28 and Kyle Karsian at 10:57 put Stevenson on top 5-3. Widener responded with three goals in 58 seconds to go on top 6-5 with 9:49 left in the half. Three goals by the Mustangs in the final 6:53, including two by Thelen 23 seconds apart, made it 8-6 at the break.
Stevenson outshot Widener 46-39 and won 14-25 faceoffs, with sophomore Justin Burnette going 14-24 at the X and picking up seven ground balls. Ross made 13 saves, while Widener counterpart Matt Horton had 11 stops.
Christensen totaled three goals and four assists, while Thelen finished with four goals and an assist. McKee, Karsian, senior Harrison Faecher and freshman Jacob Tatum each had single tallies. Freshman Kevin McCarthy had a pair of caused turnovers and four ground balls.
Patrick Richardson led Widener with three goals.
Stevenson has claimed the top seed for the upcoming MAC Commonwealth Championship and begins its quest for a sixth-straight conference crown Wednesday, May 2 when it hosts a 7:00 semifinal at Mustang Stadium.