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Faceoffs and ground balls doom Mustangs in loss to Dickinson

Mustangs MLAX

A goal just 37 seconds into the fourth quarter gave Stevenson an 8-7 lead, but No. 18 Dickinson out-scored the Mustangs 6-2 down the stretch to walk out of Mustangs Stadium with a 13-10 victory in the final game of the Mustang Classic on Saturday night.

In the end, Stevenson’s faceoff troubles and inability to scoop up ground balls cost them. Stevenson was able to overcome their struggles at the X in their victory over Cabrini on Friday night, but lost 20 of 26 opportunities against Dickinson and were out-scooped on the ground by 10 goals in the fourth quarter as Dickinson came back and pulled away for the victory.

“We got to stop hurting ourselves with our mental mistakes,” Stevenson head coach Paul Cantabene said. “We’re making too many mental mistakes at times. Last night we got away with them but tonight we didn’t.”

After going only 1-for-16 on faceoffs against Cabrini and each of them losing their first two attempts against Dickinson, Catabene decided to pull both Nathaniel Lequang and Dan Halla off the X and put Jeremy Goltz out there. He was competitive in his new job, but still got beaten 6-22 and the team lost 26 faceoffs overall. Then after going into the final quarter tied in ground balls, Stevenson was out-scooped by 10 in the final quarter as Dickinson was able to pick up the victory.

“We had a lot of good chances on ground balls; Jeremy has two of three shots to pick up ground balls but does it one-handed and they check it and it pops out,” Cantabene said. “We have to be tougher on them. We gave ourselves a chance at the faceoff but as many times as we missed ground balls it hurt us.”

Stevenson scored the first goal of the game when Morgan Pritchett scored with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter. But Dickinson was able to take the lead after Rob Kendall and Tyler Llewellyn scored.

Stephan Banick took advantage of an extra-man opportunity with Wade Korvin found him to tie the game, but just nine seconds later, immediately after taking the faceoff, Alex Hosker gave the Red Devils a 3-2 lead after the first quarter.

The Mustangs clamped down more in the second half as they were learning to play without senior defender Taylor Morgan, who sat of the game with an injury. Kyle D’Onofrio re-tied the game for the Mustangs with an unassisted goal with 10:08 remaining. But the Red Devils finally scored their only goal of the second quarter with 7:33 remaining when Kendall got through for the score.

The score remained until halftime as Dickinson went in with a 4-3 lead, and they hit their offensive stride in the second half.

Brodie Phillips and Tucker Carney scored two quick goals to put the Red Devils ahead 6-3 midway through the third quarter.

Finally, though, Stevenson started to show some offensive life.

Korvin scored his first of three goals in the game and a minute and a half later Kyle Karslan cut the deficit down to one with a goal of his own.

Carney kept Dicksonson ahead with his second goal of the game with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter, but Stevenson kept going forward with goals by Matt Tompkins and Pat Candon. And in the fourth quarter, D’Onofrio scored in just 37 seconds to put Stevenson up 8-7.

Goltz ended up winning the next faceoff attempt, but Kendall was able to score after Nick Baxter saved a shot taken by Sean Ohlhaver. Then the faceoff struggles became too much for Stevenson. Dickinson won the next three faceoffs and two of them resulted in quick goals that Stevenson never even had a possession before as the Red Devils took an 11-8 lead with 6:51 remaining.

Dickinson won the next faceoff, but utilized strong defense to get the ball to Korvin for a score with 3:54 remaining. Just a minute later he completed his hat trick, but the Mustangs lost the next three faceoffs and never had possession the rest of the game as Alex Hosker and Carney both scored at the end of the game to secure the victory.

“We played well enough to win the game, it’s just that we made so many mistakes,” Cantabene said. “We miss these easy shots and we bail goalies out. … We still need our best players to make plays.”

While it won’t be as quick of a turn around, Stevenson will have to prepare for a home contest against the best Division III team in the country, Tufts, on Tuesday.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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