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The Fairfield Stags lost to #3 ranked Loyola Greyhounds in the ECAC Championship Finals on Friday night by a 14-7 score. Stags now have to wait till Sunday night to hear if they will receive an at large birth for the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will be on Sunday night at 9 PM on ESPNU.
Loyola scored the first goal of the game at the 12 minute mark of the first period when Scott Ratliff was assisted on a goal by Justin Ward. John Snellman got Fairfield on the board with an unassisted goal 97 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. Loyola’ J.P. Dalton scores unassisted at the 10:15 mark to put the Greyhounds up 2-1. Stag’s Eric Warden ties the game at 2-2 unassisted with 3:53 left in the period. Loyola scores 9 seconds later off the face off with Mike Sawyer getting a goal with an assist fro Davis Butts. With 2:20 remaining in the first period, Loyola makes it a 4-2 game with Justin Ward netting a goal from Chris Lane. Sam Snow gets a goal with to cut the lead to 4-3 with an assist from Colin McLinden with 27 showing on the clock. Fairfield wins the face off and takes a shot which the Loyola goal keeper makes a save Jack Runkel , clears to Reid Action who chucks the ball down the field 80 yards into the Stags net with one second left in the period to take a 5-3 lead at the end of the first period.
Loyola’s Ward opens the second period scoring with a goal at the 10:33 mark with an assist from Ratliff to make it a 6-3 game. The Greyhounds Sawyer make it a 7-3 game with an assist from Ward with 7:33 showing on the clock. Fairfield’s Snellman cuts the lead to 7-4 with an assist from Brent Adams with 1:58 left in the second period to close out the first half scoring.
The third period was all Loyola. They scored four unanswered goals to take a 11-4 lead.
The fourth period saw the Greyhounds open the scoring with an assisted goal from Chris Layne at 13:50. The Stags break the scoreless streak with Dylan McGoldrick’s first goal of the year with an assist from Max Buchanan who got his first point of the season for make it a 12-5 game at the 12:24 mark. Loyola responds with a goal to make it a 13-5 game. Nikko Pontrello scored with an assist from Ward. Fairfield gets the next two goals with Alex Cramer scoring unassisted at 3:26 and Brent Adams getting a man up goal from Sam Snow with 2:47 left in the game. Loyola’s Brian Schultz scores unassisted on an empty Fairfield net as the goal keeper Jack Murphy was out of the cage with 47 seconds left in the contest.
Loyola outshot the Stags 43-39 and had a 33 to 23 ground ball advantage. The Stags had 19 turnovers versus 8 turnovers for the Greyhounds. Face offs were 11 wins for each time out the 22 face offs. Charlie Ciprianon was credited with 12 saves while Loyola’s Runkel had five saves and his last minute replacement Michael Bonitaibus got 2 saves. Both Snellman and Cipriano were named to the all tournament team.
What are the Stags chances of getting an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Watching today’s Big East Finals game of Syracuse versus St. John’s, most of the experts has the Stags out of the tournament versus ECAC’s Denver being in the tournament. Explain to me how Denver with a 8-7 overall record, a 3-3 conference, a loss in the conference semi finals and a head to head loss to Fairifeld gets in? Just because they beat Duke who played their scout team in the first half? True they had a very high strength of schedule but versus the 12-4 Stags who beat Denver and got to the ECAC League finals? Seems like old boy Bill Tierney is getting his back scratched by his old cronies. Just my opinion. Let’s wait and see on Sunday night at 9 PM on ESPNU. Roger Yergeau ’73
The #17 ranked Fairfield Stags traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado to play the Air Force Academy and came away with a 12-10 victory. This victory gives the Stags a 10-2 season record and 3-1 record in ECAC play. With today’s win, the Stags locked up a slot in the season ending ECAC Tournament with the winner of the tournament getting the automatic qualifier bid for the NCAA tournament. It marks the sixth time in program history that the Stags have reached 10 wins in a season.
Lacrosse is a game of runs and this proved again to be the case in today’s contest. The Stags came out hot scoring three goals in the first 5:07 of the game. Sophomore Connor Maniatty got his first goal of the season to start the scoring with an assist from Dylan McGoldrick for a 1-0 Stags lead at the 13:35 mark of the first period. At the 10:50 mark of the period, the Stags leading goal scorer John Snellman got his 27th of the season and continued his 22 game scoring streak with an unassisted goal for a 2-0 Stags lead. Senior Nick Tandoi got his second goal of the season with an assist from frosh Drew Federico at the 9:53 mark for a 3-0 Stags lead. Air Force responded with its first goal of the game with an unassisted goal to cut the Stags lead to 3-1 with 7:04 left in the first period. Sam Snow gets his first goal of the game with an assist from freshman Colin McLinden for a 4-1 Stags lead with 5:30 mark of the first period. Freshman Tristian Sperry gets his first goal of the game with 3:54 showing on the clock to push the Stags lead to 5-1. Air Force now goes on a three goal run in the final minutes of the first period and the beginning of the second period. The Falcons Tommy McKee who would end up with a hat trick gets an assisted goal with 3:19 in the first period to cut the Stags lead to 5-2. With only 7 seconds left in the opening period, the Falcons get an assisted goal for a 5-3 Stags lead.
Scoring slows in the second period but Air Force strikes first to continue its three goal run with 30 seconds gone in the second period on an unassisted goal to make it a 5-4 game from its leading scorer Mike Crampton. Now the Stags go on another three goal run. The Stags Sperry gets two unassisted goals to push the lead to 7-4 at the 6:17 and 1:49 marks of the period. Thirty seconds later, Brent Adams gets on the board with an assist from Snow to close out the scoring in the second period to make it a 8-4 game.
The third period proved to be where the defenses took over and only three goals were scored. Air Force cuts the lead to 8-5 with an unassisted goal at the 8:33 mark. The Falcons cut the margin to 8-6 with another unassisted goal to make it an 8-6 game with 6:53 left in the second period. Air Force takes it first and only penalty in the game on a 30 second pushing call. The Stags extra man unit lead by sophomore Jordan Greenfield takes a feed from Sam Snow for a 9-6 lead to close out the third period scoring with 2:54 left in the period.
Sperry for the Stags takes a ground ball pickup from the fourth quarter face off and scores unassisted with just 12 ticks off the clock for a 10-6 Fairfield lead to complete his four goal game. The Falcons come back at the 13:35 mark of the fourth quarter on an unassisted goal to make it a 10-7 Fairfield lead. Snow pushes the lead to 11-7 two minutes later with an unassisted goal. There is no scoring for the next almost seven minutes before Air Force goes on a three goal run in a 2:41 span to cut the Stags lead to 11-10. First the Falcons’ McKee gets his second goal of the day assist by Erik Smith with 4:39 left in the game to make it a 11-8 game. Air Force next scores with 2:49 on the clock on an assisted goal to make it a 11-9 game. McKee completes his hat trick and the Falcons three goal run make it a 11-10 game with 1:56 left in the game. Air Force wins the ensuing face off and put a shot on net with 1:27 left in the game. Charlie Cipriano makes his 16th save of the game. The Stags successfully clear the ball and Snow would get his hat trick of the game with 48 seconds left in the game. Snow’s goal was unassisted. In the final face off of the game after Snow’s goal, Michael Roe wins the face off and Brendan McTeague picks up the ground ball to help seal the victory.
Air Force out shot the Stags by a 45 to 27 margin. Charlie Cipriano had to make a season high 16 saves versus the 11 saves credited for the Falcons goal keeper. The ground ball battle was won by Air Force by a 45 to 43 margin. Roe won 12 of his 22 face offs in this game and got a game leading 9 ground balls. Marshall Johnson won 2 of his 4 face offs and had four ground balls. The Stags face off unit won 14 of the 26 face off taken during the game. Brendan McTeague had four ground balls including the last ground ball on the final faceoff. Reed Marko had four of the Stags nine caused turnovers. Fairfield’s man down defense faced five penalties in the game and blanked the Falcons in all five man up chances. Snow ended up the game with five points, three goals and two assists.
Fairfield next plays the current # 8 nationally ranked Denver Pioneers at home on Lessing Field on Saturday April 21st at 1 PM (Denver plays Loyola after this report was written). During this game the 40th anniversary of the 1972 team will be honored along with the 25th anniversay of the undefeated 1987 club team.
On Saturday March 17th at noontime, the Fairfield Stags travel to Hamilton, New York to take on the #17 ranked Colgate Raiders. This will be the last non conference game for the Stags in the 2012 season and the seventh time the two teams will meet with a series record of 3-3. The Raiders won at Fairfield last year by a 8-7 score and in 2010 the Stags won in Hamilton by a 10-8 margin. The Stags have a 7-0 record and are ranked #13 in the country while Colgate has a 6-1 record.
Colgate started the season with a three game home stand. They opened the season with a 10-8 victory over Bryant University and then beat Vermont by a 10-6 score. Dartmouth came to Hamilton and beat the Raiders by a 9-6 margin. Their first road game was against Robert Morris and the Raider came home with a 24-14 victory. Returning home for a game against Hobart, Colgate continued its offensive fireworks with a 18-8 win. They next travel to Worcester, Mass. to play Holy Cross and won this contest by a 13-9 margin. Last time out they played Binghamton on the road and won easily by a 17-8 score. The Raiders scored on their first four shots to grab a 4-0 lead. Binghamton scored the next two goals but the Raiders had a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Only one goal was scored in the second quarter by Colgate between the two team. The Raiders offense woke up in the third period. Colgate scored on four straight goals to push the lead to 12-3. Freshman Ryan Walsh, who has two Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors already this season, lead the Raiders with seven points, five goals and two assists.
The Raiders have scored 98 goals this year off of 311 shot attempts for a 14 goals scored per game with a .315 shot percentage. Their opponents scored 62 goals for a 8.86 goals per game and a .291 shot percentage. Colgate has 54 assists on their goals and 44 unassisted goals. The opposition has 30 goals via assists and 32 unassisted goals. Sixteen goals have been scored with the extra man offensive unit out of 33 opportunities for a .485 conversion percentage. The opposition have nine goals with the extra man offense out of 23 chances for a .391 conversion percentage. Colgate gets off to a fast start scoring 33 goals in the first period followed by 28 goals in the third quarter. Nineteen shots have hit the back of the in the second stanza and 18 times in the fourth quarter. The opposition have scored 17 goals in the second, third and fourth quarters and 11 goals in the first period.
Defensively the Raiders have snagged 242 ground balls while the opponents have grabbed 192 ground balls. They have caused 75 turnovers and the opponents have caused the Raiders to have 66 turnovers. On faceoffs the Raiders have won 101 times on 183 chances for a .552 winning percentage. The opposition have 82 faceoff draws off the 182 chances for a .448 winning percentage. The Raiders have 104 turnovers this year and their opponents have turned the ball over 137 times. Colgate has had 23 penalties called on them versus the opponents being flagged 37 times.
Their leading point scorer is # 15 Peter Baum with 40 points. Baum has 29 goals and 11 assists. Freshman Walsh has 17 goals and 9 assists for 26 points. Jeff Ledwick has 20 points with 14 goals and 6 assists. Matt Baker has seven goals and 8 assists for 15 points and Brendon McCann has 10 points this year with 7 goals and 3 assists. Their goal keeper is Jared Madison who has been in the pipes for 400 minutes of the 420 minutes played. He has allowed 62 goals for a 8.86 goals against average. Madison has saved 62 shots for a .492 save percentage.
The Stags have scored 80 goals out of 272 shots for a 11.43 goals scored per game with a .294 shot percentage. The opponents have scored 58 goals off 223 shot attempts for a .260 shot percentage. Fairfield has 37 assisted goals and 42 unassisted goals. The opposition has 21 unassisted goals and 37 assisted goals. The extra man offense has scored seven times this year out of 23 chances for a .304 conversion rate. The Stags have scored 26 times in the first period and 22 goals in the third period. The second stanza the Stags have gotten 18 goals and 11 times in the final stanza. Goals also have been scored in the first, second and third OT periods. The opposition have scored 16 times in the fourth period and 15 times in the first period. Fourteen goals have been scored by the opponents and the 13 goals have been scored in the third period.
Fairfield has gotten to 203 ground balls and the opposition have snagged 192 ground balls. The defense has caused 37 turnovers and the opposition have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 59 times. The Stags face off unit has won 105 times out of 163 faceoffs for a .644 winning percentage. The opponents have won 58 faceoffs out the 163 attempts for a .356 winning percentage. Fairifield has 105 turnovers this season versus the opposition has turned the ball over 100 times. Penalty flags-Stags have gotten flagged 26 times and the opponents have received 25 penalty flags.
The big three lead the team in scoring. John Snellman leads the team in goals with 19 and he has been credited with 2 assists for 21 points. Brent Adams also has 21 points-15 goals and 6 assists. Sam Snow has 16 points with 14 goals and 2 assists. Eric Warden ties Snow with 16 points-11 goals and 5 assists. Freshmen Colin McLinden and Drew Federico also have double digit points. McLinden has 4 goals and 8 assists while Federico has 10 points with 5 goals and 5 assists. Charlie Cipriano has played 434 minutes of the 436 minutes played this season. He has allowed 57 goals for a 7.86 goals against average. He has 76 saves this year for a .571 save percentage.
Key to the game: Need to stop the high flying Raiders offense especially in the first period. Strong defense and good goalkeeping. Faceoff game has to be over 50% winning percentage to keep the ball out of the Raiders hands. Need to cut down on the turnovers especially the forced turnovers. The big three, Adams, Snow and Snellman need to continue their goal scoring along with Warden and the frosh trio of Federico, McLinden and Sperry. The extra man unit has to convert when they get the opportunity. This is going to be a tough tight game. Expect it to come down to the final few minutes. Expect the Stags to pull it out and keep the winning streak going. Roger Yergeau ’73