To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse- The Fairfield Stags travel to Denver, CO on Saturday April 20, 2013 at 1 PM (Mountain Standard Time) to take on the #1 ranked Denver Pioneers in a crucial game for the Stags. The Stags come into the contest with a 7-5 overall record and 3-2 in the ECAC Lacrosse League. Denver will enter the game with a 10-2 overall record and a 5-0 record in ECAC play. To get into the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament on May 2nd at Hobart, Fairfield needs to win in Denver or at Ohio State next Saturday.
Denver opened the season with a win over Duke in Durham , NC by 14-12 score. The following week the Pioneers were upset in Jacksonville, FL by the Nittany Lions of Penn State. The final score was 15-12. Denver opened their home season with a win by a 18-10 score over Lehigh who was ranked in the top 20. Their next game was played at the Air Force Academy was a 11-4 win over Canisius. Denver traveled to Columbus, Ohio and beat top 10 ranked Ohio State by a 10-9 score to open their ECAC Lacrosse League schedule. In another game against a top 10 ranked team, the Pioneers lost to Notre Dame at home by a 13-12 margin in OT. Staying at home, Denver took on their “neighbor” Air Force in an ECAC contest. Pioneers won in OT by 11-10 score. Denver traveled to upstate New York and beat Hobart by a 14-5 margin in a ECAC game. Marquette playing in its first year at Division 1 went to Denver and the Pioneers won the game by a 15-4 score. Bellarmine in an ECAC game came to Denver and the Pioneers won that game by a 11-10 final score in 2 OTs. Last Saturday, Denver went to Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore MD to play top ten ranked Loyola. Loyola scored first but Denver answered with four straight goals to grab a 4-1 first quarter lead. The Greyhounds scored the first goal of the second quarter and then the Pioneers got two goals to lead by a 6-2 score. Loyola cut the lead by a 6-3 margin and Denver closed out the first half scoring for a 7-3 lead. After both teams did not score in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, Loyola got a goal and then Denver scored two straight goals for a 9-4 lead. The Greyhounds went on a three goal run and the score is 9-7 at the end of three quarters. Denver get the first two goals of the fourth quarter for an 11-7 lead. Loyola answers with two goals and now the game has a 11-9 score. Denver gets a goal to push the lead by three goals. The Greyhounds then go on a three goal run to tie the score at 12-12. The game goes to OT. Denver’s FOGO man wins the draw and the Denver wing picks up the ground ball and he heads straight to the cage and rips on past the Loyola goal keeper for a 13-12 win with only 16 seconds off the clock. This win propelled the Pioneers to a #1 ranking in both the Nike Media Poll and the USILA Coaches’ Poll. The ECAC named three Denver players to the ECAC Players of the Week. Cameron Flint was the Offensive Player of the Week, Chase Carraro was the Specialist Player of the Week, Goal Keeper Ryan LaPlante was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Week.
The Pioneers have scored 156 goals this season off of 443 shot attempts and a 13.0 goals scored per game. Their opponents have scored 116 goals with 459 shot attempts for a 9.67 goals scored per game average. Denver is averaging 36.9 shots per game while the opposition is averaging 38.2 shots per game. The Pioneers have scored 87 goals with an assist and 69 unassisted goals. Their opponents have scored 62 goals with an assist and 79 unassisted goals. Denver has scored 15 man up goals out of 48 chances for a .312 conversion rate. Their opponents have scored 7 goals our of 31 chances for a .226 conversion rate.
The Pioneers have gotten to 338 ground balls this season and the opposition has scooped up 344 gbs. Denver has 160 turnovers and their opponents have 130 turnovers. The Pioneers’ defense has had 63 caused turnovers and the opposition has 79 caused turnovers. Denver’s face off unit has won 156 draws out of 317 attempt for a .492 winning percentage. The opponents have won 161 face offs out of the 317 attempts for a .508 winning percentage. The Pioneers have a .929 clearing percentage while their opponents are clearing to a .953 percentage. The Pioneers have been flagged 35 times this year and their opponents have been penalized 52 times.
The third period has been the Pioneers most productive session with 41 goals. Denver’s next best quarter was the fourth quarter with 39 goals and the second quarter has seen the Pioneers’ score 38 times. In the opening session, the Pioneers have scored 35 times. In three OT games, the Pioneers have tallied 2 goals in the first OT period and one goal in the second OT period.
Leading the Pioneers in scoring is Eric Law. He has 27 goals and 23 assists for 50 points. Wesley Berg has scored 35 goals and 10 assists for 45 points. Cameron Fint has 24 goals and 6 assists for 30 points. Eric Anderson has scored 20 goals and 9 assists for 29 points. In eight games Gordie Koerber has 16 goals and one assist for 17 points. Jeremy Noble has played in six games. Noble has scored 9 goals and 6 assists for 15 points. Scoring four goals and 9 assists for thirteen points in 11 games is the scoring line for Colin Scott. Ryan LaPlante has started 11 games in goal and played 444 minutes. LaPlante has allowed 72 goals with a 9.73 goals against average. He has been credited with 96 saves with .570 save percentage while facing 284 shots. Jamie Faus had also played in 8 games with one start. Faus has played 268 minutes and allowed 43 goals while facing 168 shots. His goals against average is 9.62 while saving 56 shots for a .566 save percentage.
Fairfield has scored 108 goals this year after taking 412 shot attempts for a 9.00 goals per game average and a .262 shot percentage. The opponents have scored 112 goals with the opposition has taken 421 shot attempts for a 9.33 goals per game average and a.266 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 34.3 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 35.1 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 52 goals via an assist and 56 unassisted goals while the opponents have 53 goals via the assist and 59 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted 14 extra man goals this season going 14-54 this season for .259 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 12 goals in 36 attempts for a .333 conversion rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 389 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 383 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 177 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 178 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 87 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 107 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 116 of 256 attempts for a .453 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 140 times out of 256 chances for a .547 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .860 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .864 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 40 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 55 times.
The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 33 times in the 2013 campaign. The fourth period has been the second most productive period with the Stags hitting the back of the net 29 times and the second period has the Stags scoring 25 times. Fairfield’s least productive period had been the third period with 21 goals being scored. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 31 goals. Opponents have scored 28 times in the third quarter and 27 second quarter. The opponents have scored just 26 times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 27 goals and 7 assists for 34 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 15 goals and nine assists for 24 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has nine goals and twelve assists for 21 points. Tristian Sperry now has 20 points with 16 goals and four assists. Nick Guida, Super Frosh TJ Neubauer and Eric Warden both have twelve points. Neubauer has ten goals and two assists and Warden has eight goals and four assists. Nick Guida has seven goals and four assists. Drew Federico and Marshall Johnson have eight points. Johnson has scored five goals and three assists while Federico has four goals and four assists. Jack Murphy has played all 720 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 112 goals for a 9.33 goals against average and getting 135 saves for a .547 save percentage. Murphy has faced 421 shots so far in this season.
What to Expect: Do not know if the Fairfield Lacrosse Stags have ever played the #1 ranked team in the country. I am confident that the Stags will not be intimidated by Denver’s ranking. They are not an unfamiliar opponent. The Stags beat the Pioneers last season. Air Force lost to them in OT. Bellarmine took them to 2 OTs. The team knows that it has to win one of the last two games. The team understands it will have to play a perfect game in order to beat the Denver team. The Stags will need Sam Snow to score, Michael Roe to win face offs, and Jack Murphy to play the game of his life between the pipes. I am confident that Jordan Greenfield, Tristian Sperry, Colin McLindon and TJ Neubarer will all come up with big goals. I expect the defense lead by Greg Perraut, Dan Niebler and Toby Armour will shut down the Pioneer shooters. It will be a big upset for the Stags to beat the Pioneers. The Stags can not allow the season to come down to the Ohio State game. Fairfield has the tools to win this game. Get off to a fast start and play tough defense. Let’s hope the Stags will surprise the lacrosse world with a win over the #1 Denver Pioneers. Roger Yergeau ’73