Stevenson, Maryland –Salisbury University defeats the Stevenson Mustangs in a wild showdown of Top Five teams in Division III. The Seagulls were able to capitalize on costly Mustang penalties to take home the victory. Donovan Lange and Luke Phipps played their best when their team needed offense, while senior goalie Alex Turner and his defense held Stevenson to their lowest shot total of the season.
On their second possession of the game, Salisbury got on the board first as Greg Korvin scores on a Stevenson turnover. Sophomore goalie Demetri Pecunes made the save, but Korvin scored unassisted as the clearing pass was turned over. Stevenson earned a two-man advantage and they were able to capitalize as Glen Tompkins scored on a Tony Rossi assist. The following face off found Alex Hartwick streaking to the goal and he finished it giving Stevenson an early one-goal lead. Mike Kane scored to tie the game at two, as Luke Phipps found him cutting of a pick on the crease.
Glen Tompkins broke the 2-2 tie as he scored his second of the game, assisted again by Tony Rossi. Tompkins received an unsportsmanlike penalty and Salisbury capitalized as Rhett Depol scored. Another Stevenson one minute unreleaseable penalty was put on the board and their third face-off penalty of the game resulted in a two man advantage for Salisbury as the game was tied at three. Down three men, Salisbury scored as Donovan Lange scored with Luke Phipps getting his third assist of the game.
Senior Chris Dashiell found Stephen Banick cutting through the middle after Rossi’s initial dodge to tie the game again, this time at four. Freshman Joe Balestieri scored to break the tie, giving the Mustangs a 5-4 advantage with 6:35 left in the half. Stevenson’s Brent Hiken won the following face off and Stevenson was able to capitalize on the opportunity as Tyler Fuhrman scored his fifteenth goal of the season to give Stevenson a two-goal advantage. Salisbury closed the deficit to one at 6-5 when Thomas Cirillo scored unassisted. Brandon Kendrick scored with ten seconds left to tie the game at six and that is the way it started going into the start of the second half.
The third quarter saw the Seagulls twice take the lead at 7-6 and 8-7 respectively. Each time the Gulls went up one, the Mustangs would tie the game. First lead by Salisbury came as Mike Kane scored unassisted. Stevenson answered as Billy Burgoyne scored an extra man tally. Again Salisbury scored to take a one-goal advantage when Donovan Lange scored his second of the game. The quarter ended with the scored tied at eight when Stephen Banick got his second of the game. Chris Dashiell assisted both third quarter goals for the Mustangs.
The scoring in the fourth began with the Seagulls again taking the lead, as Luke Phipps scored and the assist was credited to Lange, his third point of the game. Both goalies stood tall as each offense had their opportunities. Two Stevenson penalties allowed Salisbury to gain a two-goal advantage as Lange finished the hat trick. The following face off Stevenson has yet another penalty as it was their third procedure penalty of the half. Salisbury again capitalized on the extra man as Phipps scored on the extra man, assisted by Lange.
Two Salisbury fouls led to Tony Rossi finding Colin Dabney open and Dabney scored to bring the lead to 11-9 in favor of Salisbury. With three minutes left, Salisbury had been issued ten penalties and Stevenson had twelve. The difference in the game was that Salisbury twice held three man advantages in which they capitalized.
Salisbury’s Donovan Lange had a career night and Alex Taylor finished the game strong to lead the Seagulls to the victory. Salisbury takes win and increases the win total to sixteen wins, one loss. Stevenson drops to thirteen wins and two losses. Their two losses are by a combined three goals.
Next for Stevenson, the Mustangs will face Messiah College. Salisbury enters the CAC Tournament as the number one seed and host.
– Brian Davies