Mustangs Welcome Shoremen, Hoyas, Old Man Winter

What’s that old saying? Oh yeah, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”

I’m not exactly sure who coined that phrase, but they certainly never lived in Maryland, because in the “Land of Pleasant Living,” March comes in like a lion and never leaves until May!

So here it is, early April and the temp on the fields at game time…. 40 degrees!!

So, needless to say I wasn’t surprised to see few spectators (and even fewer players) at Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium Saturday night, where 3 DII Chesapeake Division teams were looking to square off.

In the opening game, Stevenson faced off against Georgetown, who traveled up to Owing Mills with only 12 players. Hoyas captain Pat Foley explained why his team had such light numbers. “There were a significant number of students who had academic conflicts, whether midterms this week or other commitments that required them to put school first. This is something we, as a team, will continue to fine tune, especially as the program continues to pick up speed at a school with the academic commitments, and challenge such as Georgetown.”

The Hoyas came out strong, showing no effects from the bitter temperatures or the long haul from DC. The Hoyas jumped out early and took game 1 from Mustangs, 8-3.

Hoyas Freshman Attackman Alex Werner had a huge day, netting multiple goals from dodges off the right side of the cage. Georgetown’s Senior FOGO Joe Kim had his usual strong game at the face-off x,  and with the low numbers had more runs at midfield than he is used to.

Stevenson fielded only 12 players as well, making first year Mustang Head Coach Nick VanRensselaer’s job all that more difficult. Despite the low turn out this year, VanRensselaer has embraced the challenge and looks to his Seniors to lead the way. Newcomer Mike Edwards, Senior Garret Brenk and defensemen Chris Fenzel all found the back of the net for the Mustangs, with Fenzel’s long range bomb sparking a boisterous Mustang celly.

Senior Captain Avon Greene was a demon between the restraining lines and had several nice take-away checks. Despite giving up 8 goals, Mustang net-minder Joe Pelzcar had a sensational game, keeping the Hoyas from netting another 5 goals on the day.

Game number two featured the Shoremen from Washington College taking on the already overworked Hoyas. And you guessed it, the Shoremen featured just 12 players.
Despite the short break between games, the Hoyas did not seemed fazed, jumping out to a big lead early. The Hoyas lead stood strong until the final 10 minutes of the 4th quarter, when Georgetown’s defense started to wear down and the Shoremen offense finally started to heat up.
Collin Vincent, Dylan Wheeler and Matt Harman all scored for the Shoremen to bring them back to within a few goals, but the Hoyas hung tough in the final minutes, adding 2 more goals courtesy of Werner, sealing the 9-5 victory.
Foley commented after the game on his team’s 4th quarter let down. “I do think the sub issue got to our legs at the later half of the second game or so, but I think we still had convincing wins for our first year back over two solid teams.”
The final game of the evening pitted the Mustangs against the Shoremen. With the temps falling and the players stamina wavering, the officials cut the quarters short, which I personally believed saved lives! The shorter quarters and a 2 hour break between games helped fuel the Mustangs to an 8-3 win.

Washington College team president Nick Totis was pleased with his team’s effort on the day despite the losses. “I thought my team did a great job during the Stevenson game. We had just finished up a game against Georgetown directly before that game. For being low on numbers and already worn out, I thought my team did a fantastic job and I’m proud of all of them. I couldn’t ask for a better squad.”

The Mustangs (3-8) will face Morgan State (1-3) on 4/13 while the Hoyas will face George Mason (4-3) on 4/14. The Shoremen (1-4) completed their regular season with the loss to Stevenson.

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