Photo Credit: Stevenson Lacrosse
Owings Mills, Maryland—Washington College took down the defending National Champions to set up a rematch of the War on the Shore in the National Final Four. The visiting Shoremen won a 12-11 thriller at Mustang Stadium. The physical affair was marred by penalties in which both teams were able to stay close for the duration of the game.
Stevenson opened the scoring on their first possession. Junior Tony Rossi scored an unassisted goal to give them the early advantage. The ensuing faceoff gave Washington their first chance, but a quick turnover gave it back to Stevenson. After both teams traded turnovers, the Shoremen were able to get on the scoreboard as Kodie Campbell found JD Campbell, who put a low angle shot past Stevenson’s Demetri Pecunas.
Stevenson broke the tie at one with a goal from defenseman Josh Rufolo. Tony Rossi found him alone in the middle of the field after a timely Washington turnover. SU got a two-goal lead when Billy Burgoyne scored and senior Chris Dashiell found him cutting through the middle. The quarter ended with Stevenson ahead 3-1.
Washington started the scoring in the second with an unassisted tally by Jim Cusick; his 42nd of the season cut the lead in half. Cusick scored again on the following extra man to tie the score at 3-3. Stevenson was unable to score on a two-man advantage to get the lead back. Cusick completed his natural hat trick when Sid Looney found him open on the left side. Washington took their first lead of the game with under seven minutes remaining before halftime.
The Shoremen got a two-goal lead when Stephen Luck got under his defender and Hunter Nowicki found him alone on the crease. Shoremen led 5-3 and the hot streak continued. Nowicki found Casey Kermes on their extra man opportunity to double up Stevenson at 6-3. The lead increased with another extra man opportunity just before half. Campbell scored his second of the game and took the halftime lead of 7-3 into the locker room.
The drought ended for Stevenson as midfielder Colin Dabney scored to cut the lead to three in favor of Washington. Stevenson then capitalized on an extra man opportunity of their own when Dashiell found Dabney for his second of the game. When the Shoremen got the ball back, a pushing penalty gave them yet another extra man opportunity. They scored to push the lead back to three with Nowicki found Cusick for his fourth of the game, making it 8-5 in favor of Washington just six minutes into the second half.
Stevenson got within two goals when Billy Burgoyne scored cutting through the middle of the defense and connected with Dashiell. The following faceoff found Brent Hiken cutting through the middle, his shot getting deflected. The deflection found its way into Chris Dashiell’s stick and he finished it to bring the Shoremen lead to one at 8-7. After a Washington College save, Kodie Englehart went coast to coast beating Pecunas low. The lead increased to two goals at 9-7 in favor of Washington College
Chris Dashiell got another assist as he found Tony Rossi for his second of the game. The game was getting more physical by the minute and both teams had a multitude of extra man opportunities. Glen Tompkins scored to tie the game at 9-9, as Dashiell found him open up top and he beat the Washington goalie Ted DiSalvo low.
Washington took the lead back at 10-9 on another extra man opportunity as Sid Looney scored. Each team was given extended opportunities on the offensive end with the penalties that each drew. The third quarter ended with Stevenson crawling back but still unable to take the lead as the Shoremen led 10-9. During the third quarter, each team was perfect on their extra man situations. Washington was two-for-two and Stevenson four-for-four.
The fourth quarter started with chances by both teams but the Shoremen struck first as Hunter Nowicki ran coast-to-coast to get the goal. On the ensuing faceoff, Stevenson struck back. Bill Burgoyne scored to shrink the lead back to one, the assist credited to Stephen Banick.
With 3:26 left Tony Rossi found Chris Dashiell open to tie the game at 11 apiece. The benches shortened up significantly for both teams with Rossi playing attack. With 22 seconds left Jim Cusick scored to give the Shoremen the lead at 12-11. Cusick’s monster day continued as it was his fifth goal of the game and sixth point.
With 15 seconds left, Stephen Banick came out of a Stevenson timeout with the ball and tried to find his teammate on the crease. The pass was knocked down and the Shoremen retrieved the loose ball. They were able to run out the remainder of the time as the Shoremen faithful erupted in cheer.
The season ends with Stevenson finishing 19-3 on the year. All three losses were from a combined four goals. Washington advances to see their Eastern Shore rival Salisbury, who defeated Denison.