To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-On a clear and 60 degree spring day, the Fairfield Stags could not overcome a 6-3 halftime deficit with a furious fourth quarter rally and fell to ECAC Lacrosse League foe Bellarmine by an 8-7 score. The Stags are now 6-4 overall and 2-1 in the ECAC Lacrosse League standings.
The game started with Junior FOGO man Michael Roe in the face off circle facing the Knights’ David Herring. Roe wins the initial face off and gets to the ground ball. He sets up the Stags’ first offensive effort. The Stags are searching and probing the Bellarmine defense when at 13:47, Sophomore Attack Tristian Sperry has his first shot blocked. Bellarmine is successful on their first clear of the day. The Knights work the ball around the wheel and at 12:59, the Knight’s Chad Mitchell beats Junior Goal Keeper Jack Murphy for the first goal of the day. Mitchell’s goal is unassisted and the Knights lead 1-0. Herring and Roe take the second face off of the day and this time Herring wins the draw. His wing Bobby Schmitt gets the loose ground ball. Bellarmine takes a shot 40 seconds after the face off but Murphy makes the save. He starts the Stags clear and the Fairfield offense takes over. At 11:09, the Bellarmine’s defense creates a caused turnover. The Knights clear the ball and the attack works for a shot. With 10:07 left in the first period, the Knight’s Karsen Leung scores unassisted to give Bellarmine a 2-0 lead. Herring beats Roe on the next face off and Herring gets to the ground ball. Bellarmine takes a fast shot wide but retains the ball. At 9:14, the Knights have a turnover and Fairfield clears. Stags work the offensive attack and at 7:52, Senior Co-Captain Sam Snow takes a shot that the Bellarmine Goal Keeper Dillon Ward saves. Ward starts the Knights clear and quick shot taken by Bellarmine is saved by Murphy. The Knights pickup the loose ground ball and they turn the ball over at 6:25. Fairfield clears and quickly goes on the attack with Sperry taking a shot that is high. On the shot, Bellarmine’s Reid Wesley is called for a one minute cross checking penalty at 5:48. The Stags’ extra man unit comes on the field and works the ball quickly. Snow passes to Junior Attack Jordan Greenfield who blasts the shot past the Bellarmine goal keeper at 5:20. Snow gets the assist and the Stags cut the lead to 2-1. Roe wins the subsequent face off after a Bellarmine violation. The Stags work the ball for one minute and Coach Copelan calls for his first time of the day. After the time out, the Stags turn the ball over and Bellarmine clears. For the next several minutes, both teams take shots and have turnovers. With 38 seconds left in the first period, the Stags’ Sophomore Mid Fielder Drew Federico takes a shot the Ward saves. Dillon Ward makes a quick clear and Schmitt passes to Michael Ward. Michael Ward gets a goal with Schmitt assisting at 27 seconds for a 3-1 Bellarmine lead. Herring beats Roe on the face off and gets the ground ball. Herring takes a shot that Murphy saves but the Knights’ Cameron Gardner gets the ground ball. He takes a shot and scores unassisted with 20 seconds left in the first period to give Bellarmine 4-1 lead. Herring wins the last face off of the first period and Gardner takes a shot that goes wide. The first period ends with the Knight’s winning 4-1.
The second period starts with Roe winning the face off and getting the ground ball. He feeds Snow who takes an immediate shot but is blocked. Roe gets the rebound ground ball and settles the offense. At 13:48, Super Frosh TJ Neubauer takes a shot that Ward saves but the Knights have a 30 second penalty called on Colin Hart for pushing. The man up unit comes on the field and start moving the ball. Snow takes a shot that is saved by Ward. Stags retained the ball but Bellarmine causes a turnover after both team are even strength. The Bellarmine’s clear is good. Quickly Neubauer causes a Knights’ turnover and he picks up the loose ground ball. The Stags move the ball down field and are now firing from all angles. First Sperry takes a shot that Ward saves. Greenfield picks up the rebound ground ball and he sends a shot wide. On the backup, Stags restart the offense and now Junior Midfielder Eric Warden fires a shot that Ward saves. Federico gets the ball and blasts it past the Knight’s goal keeper to score unassisted at 11:44 of the second period and cuts the lead in half to 4-2. Bellarmine’s Herring wins the face and his wing Wesley gets the ground ball. After about a minute of trying to find an opening in the Stags’ defense, Bellarmine turns the ball over on a caused turnover by Junior D Middie Shawn Honovich. The Stags clear fails and turnover the ball to Bellarmine. The Knights clear the ball and set up their offense. At 9:10 of the second period, Bellarmine’s Karsen Leung scores unassisted to make it a 5-2 ball game. Roe now wins the face off but turns the ball over to Bellarmine. For the next seven and half minutes, neither team can score and the Stags’ offense get two 30 second shot clock warnings. At 1:36 of the half, Bellarmine has a turnover but the Stags fail to clear. The Knights Michael Ward gets the ground ball and feeds Bobby Schmidt. Schmidt hits a cutting Lance Robinson. Robinson scores with 1:25 left in the half and now pushes Bellarmine’s lead to 6-2 with Schmidt getting the assist. Roe wins the face off and gets the ground ball. With 48 seconds left in the second period, Super Soph Colin McLinden scores an unassisted goal and cuts the lead to 6-3. Herring beats Roe on the face off and gets to the ground ball. Bellarmine calls time out with 39 seconds remaining in an effort to get the final shot. On the restart, Senior Co-Captain D Middie Marshall Johnson causes a turnover and the Fairfield clear is good. With 11 seconds left on the clock, Coach Copelan calls timeout . The Stags fail to get shot off after the timeout and go into halftime down 6-3.
The third period starts with Roe winning the initial face off and Junior Long Pole Defender Greg Perraut playing the wing and scooping up the ground ball. He sets up the Stags’ attack and at 13:41 Warden takes a shot the Ward saves. The Knights clears but the defense has a caused turnover credited to Senior Long Pole Defender Dan Niebler. Perraut picks up the ground ball and the Stags clear. Fairfield offense sets up quickly and Greenfield takes a shot that Ward saves. Bellarmine clears and now their offense shots quickly. Michael Ward has a wide shot but the Knights retain the ball. The Knights get the ball in play and at 11:00 minutes in the third stanza, Robinson scores with an assist to Ryan Scinta. Bellarmine pushes the lead to 7-3. Roe is now winning the face offs and he takes this one while getting to the ground ball. Stags need and want a goal quickly and Sperry responds. He scores unassisted at 10:23 to cut the Bellarmine lead to 7-4. Roe wins again and gets the ground ball to set up the Stags offense. After a couple of quick Stags’ shots and a 30 second warning, both teams are unable to find the back of the net for the next four minutes. At 7:06 during a Bellarmine clear, Senior D Middie Gordie Wells causes a turnover and gets the ground ball. He clears the defensive zone and the Stags are working hard on attack. At 6:21 in the period, Sperry again finds pay dirt and scores unassisted to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Bellarmine sends out Stephen Soriano to take the face off against Roe. Roe wins again with Johnson on the wing gets the loose ground ball. Sperry goes for the hat trick at 5:26 by Ward makes another save. Play is blown dead as Soriano for Bellarmine receives a 30 second technical foul for pushing. On the EMO chance, both Snow and Greenfield take shots that Ward saves one and one goes wide. The period ends with neither of the teams scoring and Warden getting a high shot off with 2 seconds left in the quarter. The quarter ends with Bellarmine leading 7-5.
The fourth quarter starts with Roe staying hot in the face off circle. He beats Herring and Roe gets the ground ball. Sperry takes a quick shot that goes wide. Fairfield backs up and work the ball around. At 14:01, Greenfield takes a shot and Ward makes the save. Federico gets the rebound ground ball and passes to Neubauer whose shot goes wide. Stags back up and reset the offense. Greenfield takes another shot that Ward saves but the Stags retain the ball. At 12:21 left in the game, Bellarmine has a caused turnover, they gather the ground ball and make a successful clear. The Knights are taking their time and a shot by Michael Ward is blocked but Bellarmine retains the ball. At 10:39 left in the game, the officials call a 30 second shot warning on the Knights. They go to the cage and one shot is blocked. After picking up a loose ground ball, Brogan Hill scores unassisted at 10:16 putting Bellarmine up by three for a 8-5 lead. Roe has Herring’s number and wins the face off with Super Frosh Neubauer on the wing getting to the ground ball. Bellarmine quickly has a caused turnover and get the ground ball. Greenfield is all over the Bellarmine midfielder and he causes a turnover. Snow gets the ground ball and he settles down the attack. Sperry takes a shot at 9:16 that Ward saves. Federico gets the loose ground ball and he dodges the Bellarmine defense and scores his second goal of the day unassisted at 9:03. The score is now Bellarmine 8 and Fairfield 6. Roe is dominating the face off circle and beats Herring. Johnson now on the wing picks up the ground ball and sets up the Fairfield attack. At 8:20, the Stags are assessed their only penalty of the day with Warden getting a 30 second pushing penalty. Bellarmine extra man unit is not going to the cage and after both teams are even, the Knights are warned by the officials that the 30 shot clock warning is on. Bellarmine takes a shot that Murphy saves and he starts the clear. At 6:34 on the clock, Coach Copelan calls a time out to set up the offense. The Stags on the restart move the ball and Sperry gets his third goal of the day at 6:17 to cut the Bellarmine lead 8-7. Sperry’s goal is unassisted. Soriano is back in the face off circle for Bellarmine. Roe again wins the face off and he gets the ground ball. The Stags are patiently working the attack trying to find the chance to get the tying goal. At 4:55, McLinden sends a shot wide and the Stags back up. Snow gets his shot off and Ward makes the save. The goal keeper gets to the ground ball and he starts the clear. The Knights are in no rush to take a shot. With 3:08 left in the game, Bellarmine has a turnover and Johnson gets to the ground ball. Stags clear and with 2:15 left in the game, Greenfield shoots and hits the post! The Knights clear and at 1:23, the officials call a 30 second shot clock warning. Junior D Middie Pete Di Salvo causes a turnover and gets the loose ground ball. However, the Stags fail to clear the ball and turn the ball over. With 42 seconds, Bellarmine takes a shot and Murphy makes a save. Murphy get the ground ball and makes the clear. Coach Copelan calls his last time out. On the restart, Warden gets a good look but sends the shot wide. Stags back up and with one second left, Snow’s shot is saved by Ward. Game ends with Bellarmine winning 8-7.
Stars of the game-Tristian Sperry had a hat trick while Drew Federico had two goals and three ground balls. Getting that ice breaking goal against Hobart has restarted Federico’s offense. Jordan Greenfield had one goal but also had four ground balls and one key caused turnover. Junior Long Pole Defender Toby Armour had three ground balls. Face off man Michael Roe dominated the face off circle and did not lose a second half face off. He won 13 of 19 face offs and was credited with 10 ground balls. Star for Bellarmine was Dillon Ward. The goal keeper had 17 saves and four ground balls. With two goals each, Lance Robinson and Karsen Leung paced the Knights’ offensively.
In the game, the Stags out shot the Knights by a 43 to 25 margin. Fairfield got to 40 ground balls versus 27 ground balls snagged by Bellarmine. The Stags had 17 turnovers while the Knights only had 14 turnovers. Fairfield converted one of three extra man chances while Bellarmine did not convert their one attempt. As noted, the Stags won the face off circle battle getting 13 of 19 face offs,
The Stags travel to Baltimore, Maryland to take on the defending national champions Loyola in another ECAC Lacrosse League game on Saturday April 6th.