Stevenson recently sent out a press release (which can be seen below) detailing fall ball tourney which is set to include Stevenson, Stevens IT, Virginia Wesleyan and Goucher. In Stevens and Stevenson, you have two top level NCAA Division III teams competing. With Virginia Wesleyan and Goucher, they add two programs with potential. While neither is on the level of either school named Steven, they are both solid programs, and should add to the fun and excitement of the day.
Fall Ball events like the one Stevenson is hosting are great for a school and lacrosse program. It creates a focal point for the fall season, and garners exposure for the program. When the event links up with a charity, that exposure is often accentuated, and the team has the chance to do some good in the world. It generates a positive buzz about the program, and more importantly, the school, and it definitely helps with recruiting. A serious lacrosse event in the fall on your own campus is a nice draw for any high schooler choosing the DIII route.
And if you do things right, an event like this can grow, and that’s always good for a program. Not every team can pull this off, but for those that can, it’s definitely worth considering. This is true at the NCAA D1 level, and it’s true at the MCLA D2 level. Fall Ball events help. And Stevenson is doing work.
We were lucky enough to be able to get an interview with Coach Tim Puhls, who is an assistant with Stevenson, and is Meghan’s father.
Being a very well-known lax school, Stevenson probably could have gone with a more nationally known charity, but you guys chose one very close to home. How does this charity selection speak to the mindset of the Stevenson lacrosse team? And how did it make you feel to know that the whole program wanted to get behind you and your family?
The mantra or motto that Coach Cantabene stresses day in and day out is “family.” Once you are part of the Stevenson “family” you are always a part of the Stevenson “family.” At Stevenson, we have been involved in many “community service” events over the years, so it is not unusual for our players to know early on that they should, can and will give something back during their time here. Several years ago, we had a fundraiser for one of our assistant coaches whose Dad had Huntington’s disease and that was a huge success.
It is very humbling to know that people that don’t even know you or your daughter are willing to help out any way possible. I learned when all this happened 10 years ago that there are some really great people in this world and you really don’t realize how incredible these people are until something like this occurs. Our family did not want to be in the so called “limelight” when this happened. But people like Lisa Mickens, Sherie Cornish and Jackie Boswell, who is now the head women’s basketball coach at Stevenson, and now Bryant Mason, wanted to do something to keep Meghan’s spirit alive and try to help others. Subsequently, we started the Meghan Puls Foundation. Meghan always said if she could give one thing to the world it would be happiness.
Where do you guys want to see this fall ball event head in the future? Do you want to add teams? games? Maybe start doing one on the women’s side as well?
As a foundation, we would love to see this event grow and flourish. The lacrosse community, and Stevenson in particular, is a very giving community. However, to make it grow the way we would like entails more field space, etc., so, hopefully, as Stevenson continues to grow facility-wise we can grow as well. However, that decision is not entirely ours as a foundation. And yes, we would love to add a women’s lacrosse game and make this a great day of lacrosse. Eventually, we would like to add a basketball tournament.
What is the school doing to make this event a truly special fall ball experience?
Just the fact that we will be playing in the new $7 million Mustang Stadium will make this a memorable event. We will be handing out wristbands to fans at the entrance to the stadium and have planned some raffles, give-aways, concessions and other items. We want to make this a fun day for the fans as well. Coach Cantabene invited Virginia Wesleyan College where our son, Travis, plays, so that will make it even more special for us. Coach Cantabene has been very gracious and willing to do almost anything we have asked for this event. We are very grateful to have this opportunity to hold this event in this beautiful venue.
Should we expect all camo uniforms from Stevenson for these games? All neon? Anything outrageous coming down the pike for the Mustangs?
I believe that if we continue to make this event grow, I would love to see Stevenson as well as the other teams involved come out in all camo, neon or something very distinct, different and exciting. But for us to do that we need to procure sponsorship dollars. If we can continue to do this our foundation will work hard to make this a fabulous event for everyone involved.
Thanks to Coach Puls for speaking with us! Good luck to Stevenson this fall, and we’ll be back with an interview with Head Coach Paul Cantabene in the coming weeks!
OWINGS MILLS, Md – Stevenson University will host the 2011 Meghan Puls Lacrosse Classic Sunday, October 23 at 10 a.m.to help raise funds for the Meghan Puls Foundation.
The classic will feature four teams, including Stevenson, Stevens Institute of Technolgy, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Goucher College.
The mission of the foundation is to keep the memory of Meghan Puls, who died from injuries suffered in a car accident in 2001, and daughter of Stevenson assistant men’s lacrosse coach, Tim, and Stevenson volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach, Cassie, alive by helping families and children through supporting organizations in the areas of health services and research, youth recreation and education.
Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and Lions Camp Merrick diabetes camp. Other beneficiaries include The Seton Keough High School Scholarship, Marillac and Focus programs.
Admission is FREE, but a suggested donation of $5 is encouraged. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Anyone interested should contact Tim Puls at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“The Meghan Puls Foundation would like to thank Stevenson men’s head lacrosse coach Paul Cantabene for helping to facilitate this charitable event. We are looking forward to having an exciting day of lacrosse in the fabulous new Mustang Stadium and raising funds for families and children who are in need of this support,” said Meghan Puls Foundation President Cassie Puls.
The 2011 schedule:
10 a.m. – Stevenson University vs Stevens Institute of Technology – Mustang Stadium
10 a.m. – Virginia Wesleyan College vs Goucher College – Grass Field
12 Noon – Stevenson University vs Virginia Wesleyan College – Mustang Stadium
12 Noon – Stevens Institute of Technology vs Goucher College – Grass Field
Stevenson finished 2011 with an 18-3 mark, a record number (nine) of All-Americans and a No. 3 national ranking. The Mustangs lost three games by a total of four goals and will be led by attackman Tyler Reid who garnered 37 goals and 8 assists last spring.
Stevens Institute of Technology registered a 16-3 slate, advanced to the NCAA second round and posted a No. 8 national ranking. The Ducks are paced on offense by Kevin Rose (32g, 29a) and Alex Hofrichter (34g, 12 a).
Virginia Wesleyan compiled an 8-8 record and advanced to the first round of the perennially tough Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament. The Marlins will rely on seniors Adam Nycz (39g, 15a) and Travis Puls (34g, 14a). Puls, son of Cassie and Tim, is a senior attack/midfielder for the Marlins.
Goucher finished with an 11-6 record. The Gophers lost in the Landmark Conference championship game and will be led by midfielders Rory Averett (53g, 12 a), Matt Lynch (30 g, 26a) and Kyle Boncaro (28g, 28a).