For the Stevenson men's lacrosse team, the fourth time was the charm.
After losing in three previous trips to the NCAA Division III semifinals, the Mustangs got it right this time. They beat two-time defending national champion Salisbury, 12-6, in a semifinal match-up Sunday night at Stevenson.
The victory puts Stevenson (21-2) into next Sunday's national title game against the Rochester Institute of Technology. That's going to be at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia at 4 p.m.
This will be the second meeting of the year for these two teams-- Stevenson scored a 12-11 victory over RIT on Feb. 22 in its third game of the season.
In this game, Stevenson ran away from Salisbury early. The Mustangs never trailed and scored goals 58 and 23 seconds apart in the opening quarter for a 5-1 lead. Then, they used a four-goal run late in the first half to take a 9-3 halftime edge, and Salisbury couldn't make a game of it after that.
Chris Dashiell and Tyler Reid each scored three goals to lead Stevenson to its 10th consecutive victory. Nick Rossi added two as the Mustangs took command early.
Salisbury never broke out offensively in this game, as Stevenson remained in command throughout.
The Mustangs had been pointing towards this game thanks to the frustration of losing three times in the semifinals since 2009 -- falling to Salisbury twice. They wanted this one, and when Stevenson burst out of the gate with a five-goal first quarter, that took care of business.
Up next -- the national title game. Stevenson now needs to see if it can reach other milestone.