Decker Saves 25 to Lead Stevens Past Muhlenberg

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (February 21, 2010) Junior goalkeeper Dave Decker (Califon, N.J.) made a career-high 25 saves to help lift the Stevens Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team to an 8-7 win at Muhlenberg College on Sunday afternoon in the season opener for both schools. Junior midfielder Brandon Faubert (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored four goals, including the game-winner, and junior attackman Chris Laurita (Timber Ponds, N.J.) tallied three times to lead the Stevens offense in the win.

The two-time Empire 8 Goalkeeper of the Year and Lacrosse Magazine first-team Preseason All-American did not disappoint in Stevens' first game. He faced 50 shots, made 25 stops, and allowed just seven goals in addition to scooping up two ground balls.

The Ducks were outshot 50-30 on the afternoon and the Mules ended with a 28-23 edge in ground balls. Stevens (17) committed two less turnovers than Muhlenberg (19), but the Mules won 72.2 percent (13 of 18) face-offs on the afternoon.

Laurita put the Ducks on top with an unassisted tally 44 ticks into the game, but Muhlenberg scored three of the next four goals to take a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter. Faubert knotted things up at three apiece 3:23 into the second and 2:20 later, he gave Stevens a 4-3 lead on a feed from junior midfielder Taylor Brown (Cortland, N.Y.). Laurita scored his second of the game as time expired in the first half to give the Ducks a 5-3 lead going into intermission. Senior midfielder Bobby Steinhauser (Boonton Township, N.J.) assisted on the goal.

Muhlenberg (0-1) played an excellent third quarter, outscoring the Ducks 3-0 and taking a 6-5 edge into the final 15 minutes. That lead was short lived as the Ducks scored three goals over a span of 1:51, including the equalizer with 11:54 remaining in the game from red-shirt freshman attackman Rich Dupras (Hillsborough, N.J.).

Laurita Stevens up 7-6 with 10:19 to go, and 16 seconds later Faubert recorded the eventual game winner. Muhlenberg's Clint Watkins (Basking Ridge, N.J.) made it a one-goal game but the Stevens defense held on late and the Ducks earned the win.

Junior defenseman Zack McHugh (Delray Beach, Fla.) caused a game-high four turnovers and picked up three ground balls. In addition to his assist, Steinhauser scooped up three ground balls and won four face-offs. Junior Tom Iadanza (King's Park, N.Y.) and Faubert each had a team-high four ground balls.

The Mules got three goals from senior midfielder Al Carpetto (Westfield, N.J.), and junior goalkeeper Mike Horowitz (Randolph, N.J.) made 10 stops in net. Sophomore Nick Rispoli (Ridgewood, N.J.) won eight face-offs and picked up a game-high five ground balls.

Stevens will look push its record to 2-0 when it visits No. 20 Endicott College on February 27.

2010-02-21



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