All season I have been preaching that ball movement and team chemistry will be the essentials for the Mustangs this season, and on April 10th against the York College Spartans, it might have been their best showing of both essentials all season, walking away with a 16-6 victory.
Stangs got out to an early start with a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, Tony Rossi assisting 3 of the 4 goals. Rossi finished with 4 assist today playing the point guard role, now with 14 dimes on the season. Along with the X-attackmen (behind the goal), I always think it's the midfielder job to make sure the ball moves a gets around, today Rossi was the main reason why the team finished with a season high 16 dimes.
All of Stevenson goals were assisted which should be music to coach Cantabene ears, and all of Stevenson Nation. This was probably the best the offense has looked all season, mainly because they showed patience, the ball stayed in rotation, and no one tried to be the hero. Also the search for a third attackmen may be over thanks to Matt Thompkins performance. Thompkins finished with 5 goals off of 8 shots today, 4 of which coming in the first half.
*Billy Burgoyne scored his 100th career goal. The senior midfielder has two 30+ goal seasons and has 18 so far this season. I would like to congratulate Billy on the achievement.*
The defense also had a great outing, especially individually, no one being beat tonight in the man-to-man defense. A problem that the defense has faced this year has been that they were seeing too many possessions but not tonight. With the offense balling out of control, it allowed the defense to settle in and take on whatever the Spartans were trying to throw at them. A lot of great checks, especially from Josh Rufolo who had a few rips early in the game.
New goalie, Connor Skeen also is a contributing factor for the defense play, and probably the main one. I can tell that with Skeen in the cage, it gave them a new found energy, not only the defense, but the entire team. Skeen made his first career start Tuesday against Hood College, which was practically a scrimmage, but tonight, I think he proved he should be the starter from here on out.
I actually thought a goalie change should have happened three games ago after the 11-9 Cortland loss but I digress. The goalie is always the heart and soul of any team and I can see this team has rallied around Skeen, and will continue to do so.
With 5 games remaining until the Commonwealth Conference tournament, the Stangs have an opportunity to build some momentum and chemistry. Unlike other teams in the D3 divisions, the Stangs had a very tough out-of-conference schedule, which I think prepared them for a late season run. It will be fun to watch them from here on out.