To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line starts today at Boswell Field on the campus of Hobart College. The first game of the tournament features the Fairfield Stags versus the Denver Pioneers at 5 PM. The Stags come into the contest with the #4 seed. Fairfield has a 8-6 overall record and a 4-3 record in the ECAC. Denver is the #1 seed in the ECAC Tournament because the beat Loyola head to head. Denver is currently ranked #4 in the Nike Media Poll and #3 in the USILA Coaches Poll. They have a 11-3 overall record and a 6-1 record in the ECAC. They shared the regular season title in the ECAC with Loyola.
The ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament is in its third year. The Stags are 2-0 in semi final action in the ECAC Lacrosse Tournament. This is the second meeting with Denver in the past 12 days. The Stags and Pioneers have played 11 times in ECAC and Great West League play over the last several seasons. The Stags are 5-6 in the overall series and have a 2-3 record against the Pioneers in the ECAC. Last season the Stags beat Denver at home by a 9-8 score in OT and 12 days ago beat Denver 10-9 in OT again. In both games, Senior Co-Captain Sam Snow got the game winning goal.
I will not go through the Denver season as my normal practice. After losing to Fairfield, the Pioneers played the newest member of the ECAC, Michigan. The Wolverines traveled to Denver on Saturday and lost to the Pioneers by a 12-4 score. The Pioneers were lead by Chase Carraro who won 12 of 16 face offs, Cameron Flint who had three goals and one assist and Eric Law who had one goal and a career high four assists.
The Pioneers have scored 177 goals this season off of 521 shot attempts and a 12.64 goals scored per game. Their opponents have scored 130 goals with 520 shot attempts for a 9.29 goals scored per game average. Denver is averaging 37.2 shots per game while the opposition is averaging 37.1 shots per game. The Pioneers have scored 104 goals with an assist and 73 unassisted goals. Their opponents have scored 69 goals with an assist and 61 unassisted goals. Denver has scored 19 man up goals out of 53 chances for a .358 conversion rate. Their opponents have scored 8 goals our of 36 chances for a .222 conversion rate.
The Pioneers have gotten to 412 ground balls this season and the opposition has scooped up 387 gbs. Denver has 182 turnovers and their opponents have 154 turnovers. The Pioneers’ defense has had 78 caused turnovers and the opposition has 89 caused turnovers. Denver’s face off unit has won 180 draws out of 357 attempt for a .504 winning percentage. The opponents have won 177 face offs out of the 357 attempts for a .496 winning percentage. The Pioneers have a .936 clearing percentage while their opponents are clearing to a .955 percentage. The Pioneers have been flagged 40 times this year and their opponents have been penalized 55 times.
The third period has been the Pioneers most productive session with 46 goals. Denver’s has scored 44 goals in the second and fourth quarters. In the opening session, the Pioneers have scored 40 times. In five OT games, the Pioneers have tallied 2 goals in the first OT period and one goal in the second OT period. Their opponents have scored 37 goals in the fourth quarter. In the first period, the opposition has gotten 35 goals. Second quarter the opposition has scored 29 goals and 27 goals in the third period.
Leading the Pioneers in scoring is Eric Law. He has 30 goals and 29 assists for 59 points. Wesley Berg has scored 39 goals and 13 assists for 52 points. Cameron Fint has 28 goals and 8 assists for 36 points. Eric Anderson has scored 21 goals and 10 assists for 31 points. In ten games Gordie Koerber has 19 goals and one assist for 20 points. Scoring eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 13 games is the scoring line for Colin Scott. Jeremy Noble has played in six games. Noble has scored 9 goals and 6 assists for 15 points. Ryan LaPlante has started 13 games in goal and played 504 minutes. LaPlante has allowed 80 goals with a 9.52 goals against average. He has been credited with 106 saves with .570 save percentage while facing 315 shots. Jamie Faus had also played in ten games with one start. Faus has played 329 minutes and allowed 49 goals while facing 198 shots. His goals against average is 8.93 while saving 106 shots for a .566 save percentage.
Fairfield has scored 126 goals this year after taking 482 shot attempts for a 9.00 goals per game average and a .261 shot percentage. The opponents have scored 135 goals with the opposition has taken 493 shot attempts for a 9.64 goals per game average and a.274 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 34.4 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 35.2 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 62 goals via an assist and 64 unassisted goals while the opponents have 65 goals via the assist and 70 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted 15 extra man goals this season going 15-58 this season for .259 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 12 goals in 38 attempts for a .316 conversion rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 445 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 446 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 197 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 198 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 96 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 119 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 141 of 302 attempts for a .467 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 161 times out of 302 chances for a .533 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .860 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .871 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 42 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 59 times.
The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 36 times in the 2013 campaign. The fourth period have been the second most productive period with the Stags hitting the back of the net 32 times. In the second quarter, the Stags have scored 31 goals. Fairfield’s least productive period had been the third period with 26 goals being scored. The Stags have one OT goal this season. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 40 goals. Opponents have scored 32 times in the second and third quarter. The opponents have scored 31 times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 31 goals and 8 assists for 39 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 19 goals and twelve assists for 31 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has ten goals and 17 assists for 27 points. Tristian Sperry now has 22 points with 17 goals and five assists. Eric Warden has 12 goals and four assists for 16 points. Super Frosh TJ Neubauer has 13 goals and two assists for 15 points. 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 840 plus minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 135 goals for a 9.63 goals against average and getting 154 saves for a .533 save percentage. Murphy has faced 493 shots so far in this season.
What to expect: The task at hand for the Stags is to win two straight games to get the ECAC Lacrosse League automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. According to most lacrosse “experts”, Denver and Loyola are in the NCAA Tournament. For Fairfield or Ohio State to crash the party, one of the two teams needs to win the ECAC Tournament. Denver now has lost two straight OT games to the Stags. Think the Pioneers will be out to beat the Stags who ended their brief time ranked #1. Stags need to do what they did 12 days ago. Shut down the high flying Denver offense, get the great shot at the right opportunity and the entire team has to play their A PLUS game. Need big time contributions from EVERYONE! Roe has to beat Carraro at the X, Murphy needs to play out of his mind, Snow needs to lead the offense, Niebler has to get the defense playing tough but no penalties. If we get any EMO chances, Denver does not get penalized, the Stags have to convert. Coach Copelan has shown that he is at his best in the big game. I know this team knows it can and has beaten Denver. Just hope that the Denver revenge factor does not carry the Pioneers this afternoon. One game at a time, beat Denver and then get a shot at the Big Dance on Saturday. GO STAGS!!! Roger Yergeau ’73