Another highly anticipated meeting between the two Maryland Division III powers will have to wait until next year after No. 7 Roanoke upset No. 3 Stevenson, 13-12, Wednesday in the Division III quarterfinals before a crowd of nearly 1,000 in Owings Mills.
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Stevenson got off two shots in the remaining time, but all hope ended with midfielder Neal Bathleme's futile, long-range shot bouncing off the facemask of a Roanoke player as time expired.
"There were just a lot of great players out there making big plays," said Roanoke coach Bill Pilat. "Luckily, when the clock ran out, we were one ahead."
Had Stevenson won, it would have faced rival Salisbury — which defeated Dickinson in a quarterfinal Wednesday — in the semifinals this weekend. Stevenson and Salisbury split their two meetings this season, with Stevenson winning in the regular season and Salisbury prevailing a week later in the Capital Athletic Conference championship game.
The Stevenson-Roanoke game was played at a frenetic pace with a lot of twist and turns. Attackman Jeff Keating led the Maroons with five goals and fellow attackman Joey Coretti added three. Midfielder Tony Rossi and attackman Tyler Reid each had four for the Mustangs, but it was the two goals that were nullified that clearly irritated Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene.
The most questionable one came with 53 seconds left in the game, as Reid scored on a sensational over-the-shoulder shot outside the crease that would have put Stevenson ahead 13-12.
Instead, Maroons midfielder Eric DeLong was called for a 30-second pushing penalty, nullifying the goal.
"We had two called back, and I thought they were good goals, especially when you have a goal called back with that amount of time left," said Cantabene. "I've seen that call a thousand times when he gets pushed in, and the goal counts.
"It takes a lot of guts to make that call in that situation and hopefully he is right when I watch the tape."
But Cantabene also gave Roanoke (17-3) credit. Stevenson had more speed and quickness, but the Maroons were selective as far as slowing the ball down. They also caught a slow Stevenson team in transition for several easy goals.
Roanoke's Alex Burkhead did a nice job of defending Mustangs attackman Jimmy Dailey (two goals) for three quarters, and Roanoke switched up defensive midfielders Jimmy McNeely and Troy Grogan on Stevenson midfielder Barthleme, who didn't register a point. Barthleme came into the game with a team-leading 73 goals.
Stevenson also couldn't break down goalie Charles Pease, who finished with 22 saves, three in the last minute of the game.
Still, Stevenson had chances to win. The Mustangs were 0-for-5 on extra-man situations. After trailing 10-8 at the half, the Mustangs scored three straight goals to open the fourth quarter for a 12-11 lead with 9 minutes, 50 seconds left, but the Maroons' Joey Coretti scored with 2:51 remaining to tie the game and give Roanoke the momentum back.
As Lachlan's goal touched off a wild celebration by the Maroons, it ended a great four-year run by Stevenson. The Mustangs will lose 21 seniors, including seven that were introduced as starters Wednesday.
"I offer congratulations to Roanoke," said Cantabene. "They did a heck of a job of slowing it down at times. They handled our pressure and I thought their goalie played well. They played hard despite missing one of their best players. They hung tough together.
"But I also have to congratulate my group of seniors. They took a small, Catholic girls college to one of the best programs in the country playing lacrosse at its highest level. There won't be another class like this one. Those kids created a new culture around here. Millions of people now know about Stevenson that didn't know about them when this senior class first got here."