When the Stevenson men's lacrosse team last tangled with Lynchburg, the two sides went to overtime before the Mustangs escaped with a win. Stevenson made sure that scenario was not repeated.
Sophomore attackman Mark Pannenton scored all three of his goals in the first half and senior midfielder Peter Green chipped in two goals and two assists to lift the No. 4 Mustangs to a 13-7 victory over the No. 13 Hornets in a NCAA tournament quarterfinal Wednesday night.
An announced 1,276 at Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills — the second-largest crowd to watch a lacrosse game at Stevenson — watched the Mustangs earn their fourth trip to a national semifinal in the last five seasons where they will meet No. 12 Salisbury at 7 p.m. on Sunday in Owings Mills. The reigning national champion and No. 11 Sea Gulls advanced to their 10th Final Four in the last 11 years by upending No. 2 Dickinson, 11-9, earlier in the day.
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Stevenson extended its winning streak to nine and will play for its first title game appearance.
In a repeat performance of that 12-11 overtime decision on March 30, the Mustangs (20-2) outscored Lynchburg, 5-1, in the first quarter. But unlike that game, Stevenson matched the Hornets' three goals in the second period to take an 8-4 advantage into halftime.
"We were conscious of the fact that we didn't want history to repeat itself," said Green, a Hereford native and graduate. "We had to keep our foot on the gas pedal and just play like it was 0-0. That's just the clichéd thing you've got to do. Just make sure you make one play at a time. You can't be happy with the scoreboard. They got a little bit of a comeback, but we knew that we were playing good lacrosse, and we had to get back to it."
The Mustangs scored the game's first four goals before the Hornets responded when senior attackman Pat Ohrem curled around the left post and skipped a pass to sophomore Todd Galvin on the right wing, and he bounced the ball into the top left corner with 2:02 remaining.
But in what would become a theme for Stevenson, they scored with 1.1 seconds left in the first quarter when junior attackman Chris Dashiell bounced a pass from the right wing to Pannenton in the high slot and he beat sophomore goalkeeper Adam Davey.
Sophomore midfielder Michael Crowe gave the Mustangs their biggest lead of the first half at 6-1 when he converted a feed from Green with 13:06 left in the second period, but the Hornets racked up three straight goals over a 4:11 span and had a chance to cut the deficit to one after Stevenson sophomore long-stick midfielder Jesse Horn was flagged for a one-minute penalty for an illegal body check.
But the Mustangs killed off the penalty, and Pannenton scored with 38.3 seconds and 19.7 seconds left to give Stevenson an 8-4 cushion at halftime.
"I think the key for us is we're just playing much more composed overall," coach Paul Cantabene said. "… We knew Lynchburg would make a run, but I think we're handling those runs a lot better. In the past, we'd kind of crumble a little bit. Now we're playing more guys on the defensive end, and we're playing a little crisper on offense, and we're able to withstand those now and actually extend our lead. So we're happy with how we played."
Lynchburg senior midfielder Max Voumard scored with 13:21 left in the third quarter, but Stevenson got goals from Green, senior midfielder Nick Rossi and sophomore attackman Matt Tompkins to close out the period with an 11-5 advantage.
Both sides scored two goals each in the final quarter to cement the final score.
Senior midfielder Max Voumard paced the Hornets (14-6) with four goals on 15 shots, but the starting attack of sophomore Chris Hower, freshman Austin Stewart and Ohrem combined for zero goals and just one assist.
"They're a good team," coach Steve Koudelka said of the Mustangs. "I give Stevenson a lot of credit. You've got to play pretty well to beat that team. That's why they've won 20 games. I wish we could've played better, but I think part of that was Stevenson playing well."
Salisbury 11, Dickinson 9: After the Sea Gulls fell behind 4-1 in the first quarter, their defense allowed only five more goals over the final 45:36 of the game to win and advance to an NCAA Division III semifinal game for the fourth straight season.
The Gulls (17-5) outscored the Red Devils 10-5 in the final three quarters and were led by juniors, attackman Rhett DePol (St. Mary's) and midfielder Greg Korvin (Arundel), who both scored two goals with one assist. Senior midfielder Eric Kluge registered a team-best two assists.
Trailing 4-1 in the second quarter, senior attackman Stephen Norris found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but had his shot saved, leading to a transition goal by Dickinson's Jack O'Connor. Just over two minutes later, Brady Dashiell took a pass from DePol in transition and scored on the crease, starting a 4-0 run for the Sea Gulls to end the half.
"We got the ball inside today more than we have all year," Salisbury coach Jim Berkman said." Once we stopped giving up fast breaks, the score was tied."
Norris scored two during the run to lead the Gulls back, as they tied the game, 5-5. He followed Dashiell's goal with another fastbreak score; senior defender Brett Baer (Westminster) picked up a ground ball, ran the length of the field for the clear and passed to Norris on the crease.
Korvin scored less than a minute later, and Norris tied the game with his second with 1:44 left in the half.
At the half, the shot count was even, as Dickinson had a slight edge, 20-15, but the Red Devils (18-1) had won eight of 12 faceoffs. The Sea Gulls regained control at the faceoff X in the second half, winning seven of 12.