Stevenson Edges Lebanon Valley in Thriller

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Tori Wagner's goal with 1:31 left broke an 8-8 tie and gave Stevenson a 9-8 edge over Lebanon Valley in a defensive battle at Arnold Field.

The Mustangs (7-1, 1-0 CC) won their inaugural Commonwealth Conference game against the Dutchmen (5-2, 0-1 CC) as both sides went back and forth all game long.

Hana Krechel led all players with three goals and two assists, and Mel Modrick had a pair of goals for LVC. Kellie McLaughlin, Marissa Meiklejohn, and Leah Warner each scored twice for SU, but it was the defenses that starred as goalkeepers Leanne Bittner (9 saves) and Erica Ameigh (8 saves) made big stop after big stop to keep their teams in it.

Stevenson scored the first three goals of the game, holding LVC scoreless until Anna Pagels scored man-up with 4:10 left in the half, and Krechel cut the lead to 3-2 just before the break as the home side, with three hit crossbars in the opening period, were unlucky not to be ahead. Modrick tied the game to open the second half before Krechel gave LVC its first lead five minutes in, and that set off a superb half that saw five ties and as many lead changes.

LVC took its biggest lead at 6-4 after Krechel and Modrick scored back-to-back, but Stevenson answered with two from Meiklejohn and McLaughlin to again tie it at 6-6; Tori Kuntz's free position goal gave LVC the lead back, but Warner answered back and Kathryn Merrick scored from the 8-meter line to give Stevenson an 8-7 lead with 6:58 left.

Neither team could settle in the midfield until Benz and Kuntz combined to retake possession, and after a Dutchmen timeout with 2:10 to go, Benz hit a free-position goal to tie the game at 8-8. Merrick, however, won the draw control and poached a perfect long pass to a wide-open Wagner to provide the game-winner with 1:31 left.

The game was largely even all around, with SU leading 25-22 on shots and 10-9 on draws. Both defenses were outstanding, with Benz causing four turnovers and Kuntz three for LVC, and Meg Gill five and Meiklejohn four for SU.

The Dutchmen will host Widener on April 3.


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