Reporting Christie Ileto
OWINGS Mills, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland school brings home its first national championship in men’s lacrosse.
Christie Ileto catches the winning team, returning to Mustang Stadium for a final team huddle and has more on the exciting win.
Lacrosse gear in hand, Stevenson University’s Mustangs are turning in their jerseys for the season, but walking away Monday with this big trophy after edging out stiff competitor, Rochester Institute of Technology for a national championship.
“You dream of it when you’re a little kid. I’m a senior, so to go out on the highest stage is something that you can’t put into words,” said lacrosse player Tyler Reid.
Talk about ending on a high note for seniors.
In front of more than 22,000 fans, this year’s team brings home Stevenson’s first NCAA Division III Championship.
“It was really exciting. Honestly it was like watching the Ravens win the Super Bowl,” said one fan.
“It’s pretty much a dream come true, going out on top. We’ve waited four years for this, and finishing it up like that. We couldn’t ask for more,” said lacrosse player David Borcik.
Winning didn’t come easy.
The Mustangs had an early lead the first half and nearly gave it up in the second, only to bounce back in a wild 16-14 win.
“We were kind of worried, but we knew we could bring it back,” said Borcik.
“We’ve done a good job all year playing well in the 4th quarter,” said lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene.
“It was our time to make plays, and we ended making the plays we needed too,” said Reid.
Before the team was bringing home national championships, about 16 years ago, they were just a club team.
“We’ve really built up. I’ve now been here 9 years and we’ve come such a long way. To win our first national championship- it’s kind of surreal,” said Cantabene.
A championship win for a team already working to make a return trip to championship weekend years to come.
Stevenson is the third school from Maryland to clench the NCAA D-III title.
About 12 to 13 seniors are graduating, but many of the main players are returning.