Despite some personnel losses via graduation and personal reasons, reigning Division III national champion Stevenson’s offense was expected to be in good hands with the return of senior attackman Chris Dashiell (33 goals and 53 assists in 2013), sophomore attackman Stephen Banick (36, 27 in 2012) and junior midfielder Tony Rossi (26, 18 in 2011).
The leader after three games, however, is senior Glen Tompkins. A fixture on the second midfield last season, Tompkins leads the Mustangs (2-1) – who remained at No. 3 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll – in both goals (10) and points (11). Last year, Tompkins recorded 28 points on 14 goals and 14 assists.
Coach Paul Cantabene likened Tompkins’ career trajectory to that of Peter Green, who posted five goals and four assists in 2012 before exploding for 39 goals and 15 assists last spring.
“I just think that he’s a senior and he knows this is his last time around, and he’s playing like that,” Cantabene said Tuesday morning. “Last year, we had Peter Green step up and play like a senior when we needed him to. Glen is doing that this year. He was a second-line guy for us last year scoring 14 goals for us, and this year, he already has 10. He’s playing really well, shooting the ball really well. We’ve given him the green light to shoot the ball, but he shoots it so well from over the top that it’s really hard for goalies to see it, and he definitely picks and chooses his moments really well and knows how to get his teammates involved. He’s really picked up his level from a year ago, but that’s what you expect your seniors to do.”
Tompkins’ specialty as a sharpshooter has helped him blend in on a first line with Rossi (five goals and three assists) and sophomore Joe Balestrieri (4, 0), according to Cantabene.
“I think him and Tony mesh really well because they’re really two different kinds of players,” Cantabene said. “Tony is a guy that can go to the goal and is really a lot more unselfish than you might think. He’s known as more of a shooter and dodger, but he has unbelievable eyes, and I think Glen knows that. So he’s able to move to the open areas and Tony’s been able to hit him and I think he trusts Glen a lot and I think Tony trusts Glen a lot. I think the good thing for them is they’re with Joe Balestrieri, who has done a great job of understanding his role and being in position to make plays. So I think all of them have done a really nice job just meshing together. But Tony and Glen have definitely worked well together and we’re definitely happy with the chemistry that they have.”
As well as the first midfield has played, Stevenson has also relied on a second unit composed of juniors Sam Wyatt (3, 0), Billy Burgoyne (2, 0) and Matt Tompkins (1, 0) and also features junior Colin Dabney (2, 2), senior Jordan Seivold (1, 0) and sophomore Alex Hardwick (0, 0).
“I think we’re really deep at the midfield,” Cantabene said. “With the second line, we’re talking about Matt Tompkins and Billy Burgoyne and Sam Wyatt really coming into their own. And we’re adding Jordan Seivold and Colin Dabney and Hardwick in there. So we’ve got a lot of good guys that can get up and down, and I think we’re starting to wear down teams a little bit in the middle of the field, and those guys have been a factor.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun