Cabrini men’s lacrosse won convincingly as the rain fell at Edith Robb Dixon Field, beating non-conference rival no. 14 Stevenson 15-9 on April 21.
The offense was on fire in the game scoring goals in bunches. Cabrini never really gave Stevenson a chance to get into the game, with a wire to wire victory.
The key matchup was the Cavaliers holding the Mustangs lead scorer, J.T. Thelan in check. And the blue and white did just that holding the sophomore attacker to only two points.
Another matchup to watch was how the Cavalier face off specialists would slow down their counterpart, Justin Burnette, who came into the game top-20 in the nation in faceoff percentage winning right around 70 percent of the time.
The trio of Riley Michaels, Zack Gregory and Bobby Cressman stepped up to the task well splitting the faceoffs evenly with Burnette at 14 wins for each team.
Sophomore Timmy Brooks led nation’s no. 13 scoring offense with four goals as he was the hot hand for the Cavs. Brooks added and assist to give him five points on the day.
Freshman Tyler Kostack followed suit with a hat trick of his own. Kostack added three helpers to give him six points on the game.
The game opened with a long possession for Stevenson. But after being held scoreless, Cabrini charged right down the field and Brooks rifled home his first goal of the day.
A goal from Jordan Krug less than a minute later had the Cavs exactly where they wanted to be early on, with a 2-0 lead.
Later in the second quarter, two goals for Stevenson brought the game even at four going into halftime.
After the break the Cavaliers came out clicking on all cylinders.
Two goals for the Cavs coming from Brooks and Gregory less than a minute in the third quarter had the Cavs up 6-4.
After a goal from Stevenson’s Kyle D’Onofrio who had three on the day, Cabrini rattled off four straight goals including two from Kostack during the run making the game 10-5.
After a three-goal run for the Mustangs, the Cavaliers poured in four more including Brooks fourth and final goal of the game. The scoreline read 14-8 with just under eight minutes left.
As the rain began to really pick up, Stevenson’s Kyle Karsian got one back making the game 14-9.
But Cabrini’s senior captain Evan Downey put the icing on the cake for the Cavaliers, scoring with four minutes left.
The 15-9 victory moves Cabrini to 11-3 on the season. The Cavs will close out their season with conference games against Immaculata and Gwynedd Mercy.
What does it mean?
The victory comes at a crucial time in the Cavaliers season.
In any college sport, a win over a ranked opponent is a good thing when it comes time to get selected for the NCAA tournament championship.
When looking at Cabrini’s resume for this season, they’ve beaten four different ranked opponents. The most notable being an upset versus the number one team in the nation, Salisbury.
Other ranked wins include Ursinus College, Stevenson, and Lynchburg College, each of which by a margin of at least five goals.
Cabrini has suffered significant losses at the hands of Dickinson and Frostburg State. Both teams were unranked when they beat the Cavs, severely damaging Cabrini’s resume.
The teams other loss, came in a game agains SUNY Cortland, who at the tame was ranked number 11, and are since ranked number 5. This loss wont affect the rankings as much, as on paper, it was a game that Cabrini was not supposed to win.
The other big piece of criteria that comes in the selection process is strength of schedule. Cabrini, outside of the two bad losses, has done very well in their out of conference schedule this season.
The problem comes with Cabrini’s conference schedule. Cabrini, who hasn’t lost a conference game in almost 17 years, dominates their conference with out any resistance.
In the eyes of a selection committee, this sort of dominance over a conference, puts Cabrini’s legitimacy as a team in question.
But with the crucial wins over Salisbury and Stevenson, who were both top-five teams at one point in the season, could prove to be enough to give the Cavs a good seeding position.
The seeding position determines the difficulty of a teams road to the championship.
In the past five years, except for 2015, Cabrini has been knocked out of the national tournament by a top-five team.
With potentially higher seeding this year, Cabrini could have a chance to avoid the higher ranked teams, until later in the tournament.