A loss tends to turn coaches into surgeons, dissecting what went wrong and trying to make repairs. Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene doesn’t like losing, but he chose to look at the silver lining from Saturday’s 13-9 loss to No. 3 Cortland.
“We know we can make plays, and we know we can play with the best teams in the country,” he said Monday. “And we have to. No other team is playing three of the top five teams in the country in nine days [Cantabene was referring to a March 10 loss to then-No. 4 Lynchburg, Saturday’s setback to the Red Dragons and Tuesday night’s home contest against No. 2 Tufts]. We only do that. But we want to play a tough schedule because we think that’s important, and I think it’s going to help our team to understand playing those types of games, and we’re willing to do anything to play those games. … We want this kind of competition, and we look forward to these types of games, and that’s why we do it. But I think it’s only going to help us in the long run to play these types of games.”
The Mustangs, who dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, are 5-2 and still have formidable games against Mary Washington, No. 9 Denison and No. 1 Salisbury. It’s a daunting task, but Cantabene said the players are confident that they will emerge victorious.
“One of the things we do is play hard,” he said. “I don’t doubt how hard our kids play. No matter what the situation is, they believe they can win every game and they play hard to the last whistle.”