Strong Start Pushes Mustangs Past Messiah 22-7

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – In a battle of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the MAC Commonwealth, Stevenson scored the first seven goals of the game en route to a 22-7 men's lacrosse victory Saturday night at Mustang Stadium.

The Mustangs (6-6, 4-0 MAC Commonwealth) won for the sixth time in seven contests and improved to 44-0 all-time in MAC Commonwealth regular season competition.  Stevenson has also won four straight at home.

It took just 21 seconds for Stevenson to get on the board as senior Harrison Faecher scored on an assist from junior JT Thelen.  A behind-the-back goal by sophomore Ethan Christensen put the hosts on top 4-0 3:51 into the contest and the Mustangs extended the lead to 7-0 on a Thelen tally at the 6:03 mark.  Messiah (7-5, 4-1 MAC Commonwealth) got on the board with 1:49 left in the first but trailed 8-1 after one quarter.

The Falcons scored a man-down goal 51 seconds into the second to pull within 8-2.  Leading 9-3, the Mustangs scored the final four goals of the half to go into halftime on top 13-3.  Stevenson pushed the lead to 14-3 36 seconds into the third on a goal by Christensen and maintained at least a nine-goal lead the rest of the way, leading 18-6 at the end of the third.

Christensen totaled career highs with five goals and five assists and also picked up five ground balls, while Thelen totaled six goals and three assists for nine points.  Faecher notched four goals and an assist, with senior Kyle Karsian finishing with three goals and an assist.  Juniors Gray McKee and Chris Hammerquist each recorded a goal and an assist with McKee adding six ground balls. Freshman Jacob Tatum and sophomore Justin Burnette each had single tallies.  Burnette finished 22-28 at the faceoff X and picked up 11 ground balls.

Stevenson outshot Messiah 71-31 and matched a season low with eight turnovers.  Sophomore Sam Ross had five saves in the first 51:16, while senior Marc Poust and junior Tyler Steinberg split the final 8:44, with Poust making three stops.  Messiah starting keeper Evan Stoker had 16 saves in 43:26 of action.

The Falcons were paced by Garrett Amsbaugh with three goals and a pair of assists.

Stevenson is back in action Wednesday when it travels to Lebanon Valley for a 4:00 MAC Commonwealth contest.