After he broke his left leg in Stevenson’s 7-2 loss to Salisbury in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament on May 20, the most optimistic timetable had Stephen Banick returning in October. That timeline has now been pushed back.
The sophomore attackman – who led the Mustangs in goals (36) and points (63) – still hasn’t been cleared for full participation, and coach Paul Cantabene said it’s possible that Banick may miss the entire season.
“There’s a good chance he might miss the season,” Cantabene conceded. “But we don’t know yet. We’re just playing it slow. It’s his decision. His well-being comes first. We’re going to sit down and talk to his doctor and his family and see what we can do and find out the timeline for when he could return.”
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Cantabene said the earliest Banick might be able to return is after the team’s fourth or fifth game of the season in March. But even if Banick’s leg keeps him on ice for the year, Cantabene said the presence of junior Chris Dashiell (22, 27), senior Tyler Reid (33, 14) and sophomore Pat Candon (16, 9) can cushion the blow.
“The good part about our team this year – and Stephen knows this as well – is, we’re so deep at the position now,” Cantabene said. “Pat Candon’s really stepping up and is twice the player he was a year ago. Chris is much better, and Tyler Reid is much better. All the guys have improved so much from a year ago that we think it helps. But obviously, when you’ve got a guy like Stephen who is potentially a first-team All American, it’s a tough loss. But we’ll see if we get him back or not.”