To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Fairfield Stags will play at home on Saturday March 30 with a 12 Noon face off time. The Stags (6-3)(2-0) host the ECAC Lacrosse League opponent Bellarmine Knights (6-2)(2-2) in an important league tilt. Alumni Field will be the site of the game.
The Knights travel to Fairfield from Lexington, Kentucky. They started the season with a road win over Robert Morris by a 9-8 score. Bellarmine opened their home season and ECAC Lacrosse League play with a win over Michigan by a 12-6 margin. Staying at home, the Knights next beat High Point by a 12-5 score. Bellarmine next went to Baltimore to play an ECAC game against National Champion Loyola. Loyola outlasted the Knights by a 8-6 mark. The Knights went back home and have recently concluded a four game home set. First, they got back on the winning side of the ledger by beating Detroit Mercy by a 10-4 mark. Fellow ECAC Lacrosse League member Air Force traveled to Lexington and the Knights won by a 11-10 score. Mercer next came to Kentucky and fell to the Knights by a 12-5 score. Bellarmine finished the home stand last Saturday and lost their second ECAC Lacrosse League contest by a 9-7 score to #8 Ohio State. The first quarter saw both teams trading goals until the Buckeyes jumped into a 3-2 lead at the 6:52 mark. Ohio State got the first goal of the second stanza for a 4-2 lead but Bellarmine came back with 2 goals to tie the game at 4-4 with Karson Leung and Cameron Gardner scoring for the Knights. Ohio State got a goal with 4 seconds left in the first half beating the Knights’ goal keeper Dillon Ward to go into the locker room with a 5-4 lead. Bellarmine gets the first goal of the third period from Brogan Hill to tie the score at 5-5. The Buckeyes score the last two goals of the quarter to have a 7-5 lead going into the last 15 minutes of the game. Bellarmine scored first in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 7-6 but the Buckeyes score two straight goals. Bellarmine got the final goal of the game to make it a 9-7 final score.
In its eight games this season, Bellarmine has scored 79 goals in 277 shot attempts for a 9.88 goals scored per game average with a .285 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored just 55 goals off of 285 shots with a 6.88 goals scored per game average with a .193 shot percentage. The Knights have scored 57 goals via the assist and 22 unassisted goals. Bellarmine is taking 34.6 shots per game. The opposition has scored via the assist 26 times and have had 29 unassisted goals. The opponents are averaging 35.6 shots per game. Bellarmine extra man unit has hit the back of the nets six times out of 25 chances for a .240 conversion rate. The opponents have scored 7 man up goals with 26 opportunities for a .269 conversion rate. Bellarmine has scored twice this season while being a man down.
Bellarmine has gotten to 203 ground balls while the opponents have snagged 189 ground balls. The Knights have turned the ball over 125 times this season and their defense has caused 68 turnovers. The opposition have committed 127 turnovers and caused Bellarmine to turn the ball over 53 times. In the face off game, the Knights have won 80 of 163 face offs for a .491 winning percentage. The opposition gathered 83 face offs in the 163 tries for a .509 winning percentage. The Knights have a .872 clearing percentage and the opponents have cleared the ball at a .869 rate. The officials have flagged Bellarmine for 26 penalties this season and only 25 times for their opponents.
Bellarmine has scored 23 goals in the second quarter. In the final stanza, the Knights scored 22 times in 2013. Both the first and third quarters have seen Bellarmine scored 17 goals. Their opponent’s best scoring period is the third quarter with 17 goals. The second period has seen the opposition scoring 14 goals. The first and fourth quarters have seen the opponents score 12 goals.
Leading the Knights in points for the season is Karsen Leung with 25 points. He has scored 7 goals and been credited with 18 assists. The top goal scorer is Cameron Gardner with 20 goals and 3 assists. Tied for third place in points for Bellarmine are Michael Ward and Lance Robinson with 21 points. Ward has 14 goals and 7 assists while Robinson has 12 goals and 9 assists. Dillion Ward has played 450 minutes in goal this season. He has allowed 48 goals this year with a stellar 6.40 goals against average. Ward has been credited with 115 saves this season with a .706 save percentage. Great save percentage! He has faced 266 shots this year. Appearing in one game for 30 minutes was Will Haas. He has allowed 7 goals in his one appearance with a 14 goals against average.
Fairfield has scored 85 goals this year after taking 304 shot attempts for a 9.44 goals per game average and a .280 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 83 goals with the opposition has taken 327 shot attempts for a 9.22 goals per game average and a.254 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 33.8 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 36.3 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 44 goals via an assist and 41 unassisted goals while the opponents have 41 goals via the assist and 42 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted twelve extra man goals this season going 12-45 this season for .267 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 9 goals in 30 attempts for a .300 conversion rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 280 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 304 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 134 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 141 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 67 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 79 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 77 of 193 attempts for a .399 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 116 times out of 193 chances for a .601 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .843 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .831 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 34 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 45 times.
The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 25 times in the 2013 campaign. The fourth period has been the second most productive period with the Stags hitting the back of the net 23 times and the second period has the Stags scoring 20 times. Fairfield’s least productive period had been the third period with 17 goals being scored. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 27 goals. Opponents have scored 21 times in both the third quarter and the second quarter. The opponents have scored just 14 times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 21 goals and 7 assists for 28 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 14 goals and seven assists for 21 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points. Tristian Sperry now has 14 points with eleven goals and three assists. Nick Guida and Super Frosh TJ Neubauer both have eleven points. Guida has seven goals and four assists while Neubauer has nine goals and two assists. Eric Warden has five goals and four assists for nine points. Marshall Johnson has six points with three goals and three assists. Jack Murphy has played all 540 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 83 goals for a 9.22 goals against average and getting 102 saves for a .551 save percentage. Murphy has faced 327 shots so far in this season.
What to expect: All the games for the rest of the season are important and big games. The goal is to be one of the top four teams in the ECAC Lacrosse League to qualify for the May 2nd and May 4th Tourament. Winner of the tournament gets the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In past years, I would have said a win against Bellarmine was an almost automatic. They have had a good season in 2013 and their two losses have been by only two goals in both games against top 10 ranked teams. The Knights do not have a signature win. In the comparision of common opponents, Bellarmine beat Michigan by 6 goals and the Stags beat Michigan by 2 goals. Robert Morris beat Hobart by 4 goals and Fairfield beat Hobart by 3 goals while Bellarmine beat Robert Morris by one. Confused? The Knights goal keeper numbers jump off the page, a 6.40 goals against average and a .706 save percentage. Scary numbers. Their face off number are only 50/50 for the season. Ohio State beat them in the face off X taking 12 of 19 and beat them in the ground ball game by a 25-15 margin. This game almost has me stumped. Coach Copelan’s record in close games and playing at home seem to me to give the Stags an edge. I know that I have said Sam Snow is going to have a big scoring game in the last couple of pre game reports but this will be Sam’s second to last game at home. I got to believe he is ready to have a hat trick plus game this Saturday. Jordan Greenfield had a “quiet” game against Hobart and I feel that he will be able to have a great game this Saturday. Was the Hobart game Super Frosh’s TJ Neubauer coming out party? With that rocket shot, it was only a matter of time that he broke out. Did Michael Roe’s face off performance against Hobart show that he is back to his 2012 form? I would expect him to have at a minimum of 50% of his face offs. Fully expect Super Soph McLinden to had his “typical” two goal and one assist day and Eric Warden to get his goal and play stellar defense. I like the way the EMO unit has been scoring at higher conversion rate. Bellarmine does not seem to get a lot of penalties so the extra man unit needs to cash in any opprotunity they get. Need the defense and Murphy to put the clamps on Gardner, Ward and Robinson while limiting the assists put out by Leung. Got to get to those ground balls. The Stags will need a fast start to put their goal keeper back on his heals. A strong first quarter scoring will set the tone for the game. I know that my last week’s prediction was right on the mark. Will make a prediction again-A typical close Fairfield game that will keep everyone on the edge the whole game. Stags by 2 goals to go 3-0 in ECAC Lacrosse League play. GO STAGS!!! Roger Yergeau ’73