OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Top-seeded Stevenson University held No. 3 seed Widener University scoreless for the game's first 38 minutes and built a 10-0 lead en route to an 12-6 win in the title game of the 2018 MAC Commonwealth Men's Lacrosse Championship Saturday night at Mustang Stadium. It marks the sixth-consecutive MAC Commonwealth crown for the Mustangs, who earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
Stevenson (12-6) will learn its next opponent Sunday night at 9 pm when the NCAA announced the Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship field via selection show on NCAA.com. The Mustangs will be making their 10th consecutive NCAA appearance. Stevenson also extended its win streak to eight games.
Widener (7-11) was making its first MAC Commonwealth title game appearance since 2013.
Unlike last week's meeting, in which the lead changed hands three times in the first half, Stevenson took control early. Junior JT Thelen got the Mustangs on the board at the 8:54 mark of the first quarter, then senior Harrison Faecher found classmate Kyle Karsian all alone on a man-up opportunity to make it 2-0 with 5:32 left. Thelen struck again with 52 seconds left in the frame to give the hosts a 3-0 lead after one.
Stevenson added three goals, including a pair of special teams tallies, to take a 6-0 lead into intermission. Thelen had a man up goal, while a man-down goal by sophomore Ethan Christensen at the 3:46 mark was the sixth Mustang goal of the game.
The Mustangs scored the first four goals of the second half to extend their lead to 10-0 on a Christensen man-up score at the 10:34 mark. Paz Gismondi put Widener on the board at the 6:13 mark, and the Pride added another goal to make the score 10-2 after three quarters.
Karsian broke a Stevenson scoring drought of just over 15 minutes for the Mustangs with a goal at the 9:56 mark that made it an 11-2 contest. The Pride scored four of the final five goals of the game, with two of those coming in the final minute.
Stevenson sophomore defender Andrew Kosco was named the championship MVP after leading a defense that allowed just 13 goals in two games. He had three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.
Thelen finished with five goals and an assist and now has 67 goals on the season, the second-highest single season total in program history. Christensen tallied three goals, while Karsian notched two goals and an assist. Faecher notched three goals and an assist while Tatum added a goal and an assist.
Stevenson outshot Widener 52-41, with Stevenson goalie Sam Ross making 10 saves and Pride counterpart Matt Horton made 15 saves. The Mustangs won 11-of-21 faceoffs, with Justin Burnette taking all 21 and picking up six ground balls, and were 4-10 on man-up on the night.
Chris Drake led Widener with two goals and an assist.