To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Fairfield Lacrosse Stags are on the road this Saturday, April 6th in Baltimore, Maryland to play the Defending National Champions Loyola University at 2:30 PM. Loyola is currently ranked #5 in the Nike/Media Poll and #6 in the Coaches Poll. This will also be a ECAC Lacrosse League game. The Greyhounds have a 8-2 overall record and a 4-0 ECAC Conference record. Fairfield has a 6-4 season record and 2-1 ECAC Conference mark.
Loyola started the year ranked #1 in the country as the defending champions and a return of many of the key players from last year’s team. The Greyhounds opened the season with an exhibition against the U.S. National Team in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Loyola lost the game by of score of 17-13 against an all star post graduate team. They opened the season on the road playing at Deleware. Loyola won this game in a tight 9-8 score. They stayed on the road visiting intra state rival Townson. The Greyhounds came out on top in this game by a 14-9 tally. Loyola had their home season opener against another intra state rival, Maryland. The Terrapins were ranked #2 in the country at the time of this game. The nationally televised game saw Maryland jump out into an early lead and holding on to beat the Greyhounds by a 12-10 score. Another intra state rival, UMBC was up next for Loyola at home. The Greyhounds won the game going away by a 21-9 margin. In an ECAC game, Loyola closed out its home stand by beating Bellarmine by a 8-6 margin. Loyola then traveled to Durham, NC to take on the Duke Blue Devils. Duke beat Loyola by a 9-8 score. The Greyhounds traveled to Denver, CO and played the Air Force, another ECAC game. Loyola beat the Falcons by a 13-7 margin. In March, the Greyhounds took on the Georgetown Hoyas. The Greyhounds beat the Hoyas by a 13-8 mark. Next on the road for Loyola was the newest ECAC Lacrosse member, the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan fell to Loyola by a 13-8 score. Staying in the Midwest, the Greyhounds played last Saturday at #8 ranked and fellow ECAC conference opponent, Ohio State. The Buckeyes tied the score at 3-3 with 3:03 left in the first half. Then Loyola in a span of of less than 90 seconds, Loyola scored for 3 goals to have a 6-3 half time lead. The Greyhounds continued scoring with the next three goals, two in the third quarter and one in the fourth to take a commanding 9-3 lead. The Greyhounds defense shut out the Buckeyes for nearly 33 minutes, which included all the third quarter and much of the fourth stanza. Ohio State got the final goal of the day with only 9 seconds left in the game. The final score was 9-4 in Loyola’s favor. In this game the Loyola man down unit stopped five extra man chances for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were fifth in the nation in this catergory with a 53.8 conversion rate coming into the game.
Loyola enters this game scoring 115 goals in 390 shot attempts for a 11.50 goals scored per game average. Their opponents have scored 75 times out of 309 shot attempts witha 7.50 goals per game average. The Greyhounds have a .295 shot percentage while averaging 39.0 shots per game. The opposition has a .243 shot percentage with an average of 30.9 shots per game. Loyola has gotten 68 of their goals via the assist route and 47 unassisted goals. The Loyola opponents have gotten 34 of their goals via the assist route and 41 of the goals scored this season unassisted. Greyhounds have gotten 11 of their goals this season with an extra man and have been credited with one man down goal. Loyola man up unit has been on the field 33 times this season with a .333 conversion rate. Their opponents have score only 4 times this season with an extra man out of 29 chances for a .138 conversion rate.
Loyola has gotten to 337 ground balls while the opponents have gotten to 260 gbs. The Greyhounds have had 139 turnovers this year and their defense has been credited with 100 caused turnovers. The opponents have turned the ball over 161 times this season and have caused 71 Loyola turnovers. Loyola’s face off unit has won 120 of the 225 face offs taken this season with a .533 winning rate. The opponents have won 105 of the 225 face offs taken in 2013 with a .467 conversion rate. Loyola is clearing at a .930 percentage this year and the opponents have cleared .892 percent of the times. Loyola has been flagged for a penalty 30 times this year and their oppenents have received 34 penalties.
The most productive quarter for scoring by the Greyhounds is the third period with 39 goals. They have hit the back of the net 28 times in the second quarter and scored 27 goals in the first period. Loyola final quarter has seen the attack score 21 times. Their opponents best scoring period is the final stanza with 24 goals. The opening quarter has seen the opposition get 21 goals and 18 goals in the third quarter. The opposition’s lowest scoring period is the second period with 12 goals.
The Greyhounds have eight players being credited with double diget points this season. Their most prolific point getter is Justin Ward who has 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points. Nikko Pontrello has had 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points in this campaign. Mike Sawyer and Chris Layne are tied on the team with 19 points. Sawyer has scored 17 goals and 2 assists while Layne has produced 11 goals and 8 assists. With 12 points this year are Zach Herreweyers and Davis Butts. Butts has four goals and 8 assists while Herreweyers has 11 goals and one assist. Both Sean O’Sullivan and Scott Ratliff have points this season. O’Sullivan has 9 goals and one assist while Ratliff has 7 goals and three assists. In goal, Jack Runkel, who is Fairfield native but went to private school, has been between the pipes for for 533 of the 600 minutes played this season. He has allowed 70 goals and has a 7.87 goals against average. He has made 78 saves this year with a .527 save percentage. His relief in the nets, Jimmy Joe Granito, has been in the cage for 66 minutes. He has allowed 5 goals with a 4.53 goals against average. Granito has been made 8 saves with a .615 save percentage.
Fairfield has scored 92 goals this year after taking 347 shot attempts for a 9.20 goals per game average and a .265 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 91 goals with the opposition has taken 352 shot attempts for a 9.10 goals per game average and a.259 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 34.7 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 35.2 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 45 goals via an assist and 47 unassisted goals while the opponents have 44 goals via the assist and 47 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted 13 extra man goals this season going 13-48 this season for .271 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 9 goals in 31 attempts for a .290 conversion rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 320 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 331 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 151 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 155 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 74 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 89 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 90 of 212 attempts for a .425 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 122 times out of 212 chances for a .575 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .844 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .846 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 35 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 48 times.
The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 26 times in the 2013 campaign. The fourth period has been the second most productive period with the Stags hitting the back of the net 26 times and the second period has the Stags scoring 22 times. Fairfield’s least productive period had been the third period with 19 goals being scored. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 28 goals. Opponents have scored 23 times in the second quarter and 22 times in the third quarter. The opponents have scored just 18 times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 22 goals and 7 assists for 29 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 14 goals and eight assists for 22 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points. Tristian Sperry now has 17 points with 14 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. Drew Federico and Marshall Johnson have six points. They both have scored three goals and three assists. Jack Murphy has played all 600 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 91 goals for a 9.10 goals against average and getting 114 saves for a .556 save percentage. Murphy has faced 352 shots so far in this season.
What to Expect: A very tough task for the Stags this Saturday. Loyola is playing its first home game since the early March and the game will be played after a women’s game that starts at 12 noon. Runkel is a tough goal keeper and Justin Ward is scoring lots of goals and assists. I am impressed that their man down defense has only allowed four goals this season. Ratliff is a game changer. In last year’s game, the Stags were leading after 3 periods. So the Stags showed they can play with the Greyhonds. The team needs to be firing on all cylinders. Got to get Sam Snow and Nick Guida to start scoring again. The Stags annually upset a major ranked opponent. Coach Copelan knows how to game plan and the team historically play tights games. I expect a hard fought and back and forth game. Will not predict a score again this week. GO STAGS!! Roger Yergeau ’73