GRANTHAM, Pa. – Sophomore JT Thelen totaled five goals and an assist as No. 14 Stevenson University scored six of the game's final eight goals to post a 14-10 win over Messiah College in MAC Commonwealth men's lacrosse Saturday night at Starry Athletic Complex. The Mustangs (11-5, 8-0 MAC Commonwealth) clinched the No. 1 seed in next week's conference championship with the win over the Falcons (9-5, 7-1 MAC Commonwealth).
The win also wrapped up Stevenson's fifth consecutive unbeaten mark in MAC Commonwealth play since joining the league in 2013. The Mustangs are 40-0 all-time during the regular season in conference play. With the No. 1 seed, Stevenson will host a semifinal on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm against either fourth-seeded Widener or No. 5 seed Lebanon Valley.
Stevenson led 7-5 at halftime and took an 8-5 lead with 8:56 left in the third quarter as Thelen scored off a feed from Kyle Karsian. Messiah then reeled off three straight goals in a span of 1:26 to tie the game 8-8 on a Joseph Franken goal with 5:50 left in the period. The Mustangs regained the lead with 3:35 left on Thelen's third goal of the game.
The guests scored five straight goals to open the fourth period to build a 14-8 lead. Senior Wade Korvin scored 11 seconds into the frame, then back-to-back Thelen tallies at 13:00 and 10:32 pushed the lead to four. Senior Kyle D'Onofrio made it 13-8 at the 8:22 mark, then 23 seconds later, freshman Ethan Christensen closed out the Mustang scoring. Messiah scored twice in the final minute, including a Franken goal with one second remaining, to account for the final.
Messiah held a 3-1 lead midway through the first quarter but the two teams were tied 3-3 after one as D'Onofrio scored at 3:34 and senior Morgan Pritchett with 30 seconds to go. The Falcons took a 4-3 lead 35 seconds into the second quarter before the Mustangs registered four straight goals to take a 7-4 lead with 5:29 left before intermission on a goal by senior Tyler Fuhrman. Luke Hall recorded a man-up goal with four seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 7-5 at the break.
Stevenson outshot Messiah 47-34, including 34 shots on goal, as Messiah goalie Sam Stengel kept the hosts in the game with 20 saves. Stevenson counterpart Ross Dinan turned aside six shots. Messiah won 13-of-25 faceoffs, but committed 22 turnovers to 10 for the Mustangs, matching their lowest turnover total of the season.
D'Onofrio, Fuhrman and senior Sean Ohlhaver each scored a pair of goals, with D'Onofrio recording two assists and Furhman one.
Colin Mason, Dominic DeFazio and Dylan Harris each had two caused turnovers for Stevenson, while Jacob Brown picked up a team-high six ground balls and also handed out two assists. Mason, Mason and Drew Cormode each picked up three ground balls.
Blake Knobloch led Messiah with three goals and an assist.
Stevenson will be going for its fifth straight MAC Commonwealth title next week, and the accompanying NCAA berth. The Mustangs have made eight straight NCAA appearances.