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Mustangs roll past Nazareth in NCAA opener

While the Stevenson men’s lacrosse team rolled over their MAC Commonwealth opponents all year long, non-conference play has troubled them a bit more than usual, especially down the stretch of the season with losses to Cabrini and Stevens in late April. But on Wednesday they showed there was nothing to worry about as they overwhelmed No. 20 Nazareth in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

The No. 13 Mustangs scored the first six goals of the game as they played in their ninth straight national postseason tournament. Things were pretty much put away by halftime as they cruised to a 19-6 victory over the Empire 8 tournament champions.

Kyle D’Onofrio and Tyler Fuhrman each scored four goals in the game while four more teammates had two goals apiece. D’Onofrio added an assist to his total while Brandon Watson and Sean Ohlhaver each had two goals and two assists in the game. JT Thelen and Morgan Pritchett both scored twice in the game.

Stevenson once again employed the shoot early, shoot often approach. They outshot the Golden Flyers 52-37 and ended up going through three Nazareth goalkeepers in the game.

But Stevenson’s defense certainly did their part in the game too. Ross Dinan made 11 saves in 53 minutes before TJ Ellis had two in some mop-up duty. Stevenson also caused 12 of Nazareth’s 21 turnovers and held them to only 9-for-16 on clear attempts. The Mustangs, meanwhile, were a perfect 22-for-22 on clears.

Furhman and D’Onofrio each scored twice in the first quarter. Fuhrman scored the first goal of the game in just 66 seconds before Wade Korvin followed him with a score 40 seconds later. Then, Fuhrman scored again in the sixth minute in a man-up situation after Luke Longo committed a 30-second holding penalty. D’Onofrio assisted Fuhrman’s second goal and then scored two unassisted goals of his own to put Stevenson ahead 5-0 after the first quarter.

Watson, who had the helper on Korvin’s first-quarter goal, dished his second assist of the game that led to Thelen’s first goal in the second minute of the second quarter.

Nazareth finally got on the board early in the second quarter, just 25 seconds after Thelen’s goal, when Joe Eiskant scored a man-up goal to make it a 6-1 game. Stevenson faceoff specialists Justin Burnette was flagged for holding just 31 seconds prior, but while the penalty expired, Stevenson hadn’t made things even yet.

But the Mustangs refused to let Nazareth turn the goal into a run. Instead, Stevenson scored three in a row to push ahead 9-1. Jack Crowley was able to score one more first-half goal for the Golden Flyers, but Prichett and Watson both scored goals to close out the second quarter. Stevenson led 11-2 at the break.

And picked things up right where they left off with a 5-1 scoring advantage in the third quarter to go up 16-3.

In the blowout, Nazareth did score the first goal of the fourth quarter, but Stevenson rattled off three more to go up 19-4. Then, they moved in a lot of their backups in the final minutes of the game. Nazareth scored two goals at the very end of the game.

Stevenson’s 13-goal margin of victory was the second-largest in their 24 NCAA Tournament games. The 19 goals were their most since they beat Cabrini 19-9 in 2010.

Stevenson earned their fourth straight victory and will move on to play No. 2 RIT in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Stevenson suffered a 16-13 loss to RIT on February 25 in their season opener. The rematch in Rochester, New York will begin at 1 pm.

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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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