No. 15 Mustangs Down LVC to Advance to Title Game

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Led by six points from junior Marissa Meiklejohn (Severn, Md./Old Mill) and five points from junior Leah Warner (Pasadena, Md./Northeast), the No. 15 Mustangs advanced to their first conference championship game with a 17-11 victory over Lebanon Valley in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals Thursday afternoon at Mustang Stadium.

The Mustangs (16-1, 8-0 MAC) won their 16th consecutive game, advancing to their first conference championship game in their first season in the Commonwealth Conference, after falling in the semifinals in the past five seasons in the CAC, four of those losses coming to Salisbury.

Trailing 2-1 early in the first half, Stevenson used a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 8-2 with 10:26 remaining. During that run, sophomore Kathryn Merrick (Forest Hill, Md./Bel Air) scored three straight goals in a 38 second span.

The Dutchmen (11-5, 5-3 MAC) repsonded with a 4-1 run, including three straight goals from Sam Boyce, to cut their deficit to 9-6 at the half.

After trading a pair of early goals to begin the second half, the Mustangs scored three straight goals including two by junior Mandy Marston (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) who scored all four of her goals in the second half.

Marston and Merrick both tallied four points.

A goal by freshman Tori Wagner (Fallston, Md./Fallston) at the 12:22 mark pushed the score to 15-8, giving Stevenson its largest lead of the game at seven.

Sophomore Leanne Bittner (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) finished with eight saves, while Marston, sophomore Amanda LeGar (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) and freshman Shelby Walter (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) all had three ground balls.

The Mustangs held a 20-14 advantage in ground balls while the Dutchmen won 21 of 30 draw controls.

Lebanon Valley was led by Mel Modrick who had three goals and one assist. Boyce and Hana Krechel added three goals each.

Stevenson hosts Elizabethtown for the 2013 Commonwealth Conference championship on Saturday at Mustang Stadium beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Mustangs defeated the Blue Jays earlier this season, 21-12 on April 10.

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Lebanon Valley couldn't catch up to #15 Stevenson after their first-half surge as the Mustangs won 17-11 in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals Thursday.

The Dutchmen (11-5) will have to wait and see if they receive an ECAC tournament berth when the field is announced Monday. Stevenson (16-1) moves on to host the CC final Saturday against Elizabethtown, an overtime upset winner over #18 Messiah.

Hana Krechel, Mel Modrick, and Sam Boyce all had hat tricks for LVC. A 7-0 run by Stevenson in the first half made the difference as the Dutchmen couldn't quite close the gap despite getting it down to two goals later in the game. Shots were an even 28-28 and LVC dominated draw controls 21-9 (including 10 by Boyce), but the goals just didn't come for the visitors.

LVC took an early lead thanks to two Modrick strikes, but Stevenson rattled off seven in a row, holding LVC scoreless for more than 14 minutes until Krechel stopped the bleeding and Boyce scored three in three minutes to cut the lead back to 8-6. Stevenson scored two around the break, then put some space in the game with an early 3-0 run to go up 13-7.

The Dutchmen tried to rally with goals by Morgan Maier, Krechel, and Allison McGinniss, but they never got closer than five goals as SU's Leah Warner and Mariss Meiklejohn potted late insurance tallies.

If it is the final game in Krechel's career, she ends it as one of NCAA Division III's most prolific scorers. The senior has 394 points, ranking fifth all-time in D-III history, off 265 goals and 129 assists.

2013-05-02



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