Stevenson has had a tradition of turning out high-powered offenses, but it has been the defense that has carried the Mustangs this season .
And the unit delivered again Saturday night as Stevenson defeated visiting Gettysburg, 13-6, in a second round Division III playoff game.
Stevenson's defensemen Parker Bratton, Kyle Holecheck, Kyle Fendlay, Matthew Schenck and midfielders Ryan Rubenstein and Warren Pumphrey dominated the Bullets, and kept another team under six goals or less for the 13th time this season.
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"Another team under six goals?," asked Holecheck. "I knew it was getting up there, but I didn't know it was that high. I guess that's something they keep under the table because they don't want us getting big heads."
The Mustangs lost their entire attack from a year ago, and the defense has given the offense time to rebuild.
The Mustangs' offense struggled in the first quarter Saturday nightbut scored five unanswered goals in the second to take control of the game.
"Because me and Fendlay were here last year, they told us we would be the anchors and have to carry the team and the defense early in the season," Holecheck said. "Then we have a fourth guy like Schenck and he comes in to give one of us a rest. That allows us to push out and keep constant pressure on an offense."
Attackman Tyler Reid and midfielders Justin Lea and Chris Dashiell each had three goals to pace Stevenson (17-4)and senior midfielder Nick Rossi had four assists.
Freshman attackman Robby Maddux, from St. Paul's High, had three goals to lead Gettysburg (11-7).
Madduxwas the Bullets' only consistent weapon. The Mustangs shut out Gettysburg in the second quarter and allowed only one in the fourth. Gettysburg had only 20 shots.
Stevenson had trouble breaking down Gettysburg's zone defense in the first quarter, but the Mustangs didn't stop pounding Bullets goalie Jon Maddalone with shots.
In the first quarter, Stevenson took only five shots, but in the second, the Mustangs took 18. They scored five goals in the second quarter, most of them outside bombs. By halftime, Stevenson had a 6-2 lead as Reid and Lea scored in the final 1:22 of the second period.
Gettysburg scored the first two goals of the third period, one by midfielder Derek Ruebling and the other Maddux, to pull within 6-4 with 10:32 remaining the Bullets could not get any closer than two goals in the period, and Reid and midfielder Michael Crowe scored in the final 5: 49 seconds to push the Mustangs lead to 9-5 at the end of the quarter.
Stevenson out hustled Gettysburg holding 33-21 advantage in ground balls. The Mustangs also forced 16 turnovers.