Stevenson has released its men's lacrosse schedule for the 2015 season. Here is a breakdown of the slate that awaits the Mustangs, who went 19-3 last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
10: Stevenson will host 10 games in 2015. That will mark the fourth time in the past five years that the program will have at least 10 home dates in the regular season.
9: In a span of nine days, the Mustangs will take on four teams that qualified for last spring’s NCAA tournament. They will face reigning Division III national champion Tufts on March 17, Cabrini on March 20, SUNY-Cortland on March 21, and national runner-up Salisbury on March 25.
8: In all, Stevenson is scheduled to meet with eight opponents that earned spots in the 2014 NCAA tournament. In addition to the aforementioned teams, the Mustangs will also face York on Feb. 14, Rochester Institute of Technology on Feb. 21, Western New England on Feb. 28, and Lynchburg on April 4.
7: The Mustangs could return as many as seven starters from last season. With the possible return of junior defensemen Callum Robinson and Chad Williams, senior short-stick defensive midfielder Connor Curro, junior short-stick defensive midfielder Dylan Muti, and junior goalkeeper Dimitri Pecunes, a defense that surrendered 7.2 goals per game could be the anchor again in 2015.
6: Stevenson is scheduled to play six games in March, but that is a low for the program for that month. The last time the team played six contests or fewer in March was 2008 when that squad played just five times.
5: The Mustangs graduated five first-line players last year’s squad. They will miss attackman Chris Dashiell (team-leading 43 assists), midfielder Glen Tompkins (39 goals), defenseman Kyle Holechek (team-best 49 caused turnovers), long-stick midfielder Ryan Rubenstein (15 caused turnovers) and faceoff specialist Brent Hiken (team-high 178 ground balls, 72.0 win percentage).
4: Stevenson could return four midfielders who scored at least 22 goals each. The senior trio of Colin Dabney (39 goals), Tony Rossi (36), and Billy Burgoyne (35) and junior Joe Balestrieri (22) illustrate the depth the program has enjoyed in recent years.
3: A Mustangs offense that averaged 14.5 goals in 2014 could be even more potent if three starters who did not play last season return for the upcoming spring. Senior attackmen Mark Pannenton (62 goals and seven assists in 2013) and Pat Candon (22, 28) and senior midfielder Michael Crowe (25, 17) could be huge additions in productivity.
2: For the second straight year, Stevenson will close the regular season with an away game against a Commonwealth Conference foe. The team is scheduled to visit Widener on April 25.
1: The Mustangs have finished first in their conference regular-season standings in three of the past four years. They captured the Capital Athletic Conference title in 2011 and the Commonwealth Conference crown in 2013 and 2014.