Strong Stevenson Second Half Ousts LVC in CC Semis

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - A three-goal run to open the second half was enough to propel Stevenson to a 13-10 win over Lebanon Valley in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals on Thursday afternoon.

The Mustangs move on to the championship game against Messiah on Saturday, as the Falcons took care of Alvernia in the other semifinal, 19-1. The Valley loss drops them to 13-4 on the year and they will await a bid in the ECAC Tournament next week.

The Dutchmen hopped out of the bus ready to play as junior Anna Pagels took the opening draw of the game straight down the field and beat the Stevenson goalie for an early 1-0 advantage just 11 seconds into the game.

Junior Bailey Benz and senior Mel Modrick finished two of the next three and the Valley built some confidence with a 3-1 lead with 23:51 to play in the first.

Three straight goals from Stevenson followed as they took the momentum back and it was back-and-forth for the remainder of the half. It seemed that whoever won the draw control would finish on their offensive end as both teams were offensively efficient and the game went into the break knotted at six.

The second 30 minutes was all Stevenson as the Mustangs scored three straight goals out of the break to take a 9-6 lead less than five minutes into the stanza. Modrick and Pagels tallied two of the next three and brought the Valley within two at 10-8, but that was as close they would get as Stevenson worked their lead to as many as five and outlasted the Dutchmen with a final score of 13-10.

Modrick led the LVC attack with five goals, while Pagels chipped in with two goals and one assist and junior Jenny Simensky and classmate Bailey Benz each tallied a goal and an assist. Sophomore Shelby Morris was solid in goal, making 12 saves in the loss, while Stevenson's Leanne Bittner was excellent between the pipes with 12 saves and nine in the second half.

The Mustangs held the edge in shots, 34-29, and ground balls, 24-17, while the Dutchmen won 17 of the 25 draw controls on the day, with Pagels and sophomore Sam Boyce picking up nine and eight, respectively.

With a 13-4 overall record, the Valley awaits a likely bid into the 2014 ECAC Tournament, a tournament in which they won a year ago.


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