Stevenson's Kyle Holechek (9) and Parker Bratton hit… (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore…)
Junior attackman Tyler Reid set a career high with five goals as Stevenson defeated Birmingham-Southern, 13-2, in a first-round NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament game Wednesday at Mustang Stadium.
Reid scored in a multitude of ways as the Mustangs (16-4) pounded the Panthers (14-5). Freshman midfielder Billy Burgoyne and sophomore attackman J.P. Coombe (St. Mary's) each added two goals for Stevenson, which entered the game averaging 10.6 goals.
Reid and his Stevenson teammates were relentless in attacking Birmingham-Southern's zone defense as the Mustangs outshot the Panthers 47-25.
Earlier in the week, Reid had worked with coach Paul Cantabene to improve his offense. Everything went right Wednesday night.
"We talked about me being more active, and we wanted to simplify the game," Reid said. "The ball just kept coming in, and honestly, I should have scored more — about nine goals. But a win is a win, and we're going to take it."
Birmingham-Southern showed how other teams might try to attack Stevenson's offense. Because the Mustangs like to run and gun, they'll probably face more zones in the tournament.
"We started to see more and more zone near the middle of the season," Reid said. "A lot of the weaker defenses try to pack it in and make you work more on the outside. But if you're able to move the ball and get movement, you get more and more one-on-one opportunities."
The Mustangs know their opponent will be tougher when they host Gettysburg (11-6) on Saturday night at 7 in a second-round game; the Bullets defeated Ohio Wesleyan, 7-4, on Wednesday.
"We know they like to slow it down, they want to dictate the tempo," Reid said. "What we have to do is learn how to play 60 minutes, how to string together four good quarters."
The Mustangs jumped on Birmingham-Southern from the start with Reid, Coombe and sophomore defenseman Ryan Rubenstein (Boys' Latin) each scoring first-quarter goals.. Stevenson outshot the Panthers 31-12 in the first two quarters and dominated the Panthers in ground balls 20-4.
The second period was simply shooting practice for Stevenson, which outscored the Panthers 6-0. Reid, from Clinton, Conn, scored on a high shot nearly three minutes in, and Coombe fired in a running shot about a minute later.
Reid scooped up a ground ball and converted on a low bouncer outside the crease with 11:21 left in the half, and Burgoyne scored on an underhand shot after overpowering two Panthers defenders with 9:03 remaining.
Sophomore midfielder Chris Dashiell and Reid closed out the scoring in the half, with the latter getting his fourth goal.
Stevenson was complacent to open the third quarter but finally scored midway in the quarter on goal by senior midfielder Kenny Whittaker (Archbishop Curley). The Panthers responded with a goal about two minutes later, but Reid put the Mustangs ahead with his fifth goal with 4:13 left in the quarter.
"The opening of the third quarter, that's what we're talking about," Reid said. "You can't let your opponent back in the game. We can't disrespect anybody, because once you do, you let them come back. That's something the coach has talked to us about, and we still have to work on it."