ANNVILLE, Pa. - The Stevenson women's lacrosse trio of junior Marissa Meiklejohn (Severn, Md./Old Mill), junior Leah Warner (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) and freshman Kellie McLaughlin (Frederick, Md./Frederick) each had two goals to lead the Mustangs over Lebanon Valley Thursday in the Commonwealth Conference opener for both teams, 9-8.
The Mustangs (7-1, 1-0 MAC) are off to the best start to a season in school history as the previous best start was the 2010 season when they started 7-2. Their seven-straight wins ties a school record as they also won seven consecutive during the 2008 season.
The win also marked Stevenson's fifth consecutive in a conference opener and the team's first in its inagural season in the Commonwealth Conference.
Stevenson jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on goals by junior Mandy Marston (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame), Meiklejohn and McLaughlin. They held Lebanon Valley scoreless for the first 25:50 before the Dutchmen closed the first half with back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to one.
Lebanon Valley (5-2, 0-1 MAC) scored four of the first five goals in the second half to take its largest lead of the game at 6-4.
However, Meiklejohn and McLaughlin scored back-to-back goals to tie the game at 6-6 as neither team led by more than one the rest of the way.
Sophomore Kathryn Merrick (Bel Air, Md./Forest Hill) scored on a free-position goal with 6:58 remaining to give the Mustangs an 8-7 lead before the Dutchmen scored on a free-position goal of their own by Bailey Benz with 1:43 remaining.
Merrick won the ensuing draw control and launched a pass to freshman Tori Wagner (Fallston, Md./Fallston) who was wide-open in front of the cage and converted it for the game-winner.
The Mustangs held a 25-22 advantage in shots and a 20-18 advantage in ground balls.
Sohomore Meg Gill (White Hall, Md./North Harford) totaled a career-high five caused turnovers while Meiklejohn added four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Sophomore Leanne Bittner (Baltimore,MD./Loch Raven) totaled nine saves and a game-high five ground balls.
Stevenson travels to face local rival Goucher in a non-conference contest on Wednesday, April 3 beginning at 4:00 p.m.