To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The 2013 season drew to a close in the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament with a semi-final loss to Denver by a 10-8 score. It is hard to believe that the season started with pre season practices in January and the first game in February. The Stags finished the season with an overall record of 8-7 and a conference record of 4-3. The Stags were 5-2 at home, 3-4 on the road and 0-1 in neutral field. This was the fifth consecutive season that the Stags had a winning record and the third season that Fairfield qualified and played in the ECAC Lacrosse League season ending tournament. If there was a disappointment to this season, it was the Stags did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The season started but did not start when 3 plus feet of snow hit New England and Eastern Long Island. The Stags were suppose to open the season against Stony Brook but the three attempts to play game did not come off as Stony Brook was buried under the 3 feet of snow and the LIE was closed. The Stags then opened the season with road game against Bryant University. The Stags came back and won a tough game by a 8-6 score. Goal keeper Jack Murphy opened the season in goal and had a great game against Bryant. Jordan Greenfield was the offensive star for the game with his four goal game. The Stags next played at home against the Midshipmen of Navy. This game was another close one with the Stags coming back to win the game by a 10-9 score. Star of the game was Sam Snow with his four goal effort in the fourth period. Sam scored the last three goals of the game in the winning effort. Jack Murphy had a 14 save effort in this game with many big saves in the fourth period. The Stags next traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Stags suffered a 10-9 loss to the Tarheels. Fairfield was ahead 7-3 in the third period when the Tarheels score three goals within a span of a minutes. Many parents told me after the game that the “boys” deserved better. Jack Murphy had 8 ground balls and 14 saves in the game. This was the game that I named TJ Neubauer “Super Frosh” for his one goal and one assist in the North Carolina game. Hofstra came to Fairfield for the second home game of the season. This had to be the Stags low point of the season with Fairfield losing this game by a 9-2 score. Not only did the Stags lose the game but the Fairfield lost its national ranking.
March comes to Fairfield and UMBC is the next to play Fairfield and the Stags rebounded with a 14-9 win. Greenfield had 4 goals and 2 assists to lead the Stags while Snow had three goal and Super Soph Colin McLinden had two goals and 2 assists. Murphy had 17 saves in this game. The Stags traveled to New Haven to play Yale in an intrastate contest. It was a beautiful spring day with many Stags alumni in attendance but once again the Stags could solve the Bulldogs jinx against Fairfield. The Stags had never beaten Yale. Snow lead the Stags with three goals and Tristian Sperry had a goal and four ground balls. The newest member of the ECAC Lacrosse League the Michigan Wolverines came to Fairfield to play on a cold night under the lights. Jordan Greenfield lead the Stags with three goals and four ground balls. Eric Warden contributed with two goals and three ground balls. Next up was intrastate rival Quinnipiac who came to Fairfield. Despite the suspension of five seniors due to team rules violations, the Stags won a hard fought 11-10 game. Greenfield lead the Stags with five goals and one assist and McLinden had two goals and one assist. Michael Roe in the face off circle had 10 ground balls. Fairfield made the trip to upstate NY to continue its ECAC conference play taking on the Statesmen of Hobart. The Stags won this game in the fourth period by a 13-10 score. Underclass men lead the Stags with Neubauer getting four goals and Tristian Sperry adding three goals. Concluding games in the month of March, the Stags hosted Bellarmine in an ECAC contest. Bellarmine beat the Stags by an 8-7 score. The Stags won every statistical category in this game but the final score. Sperry paced the Stags with three goals and Drew Federico had two goals and three ground balls. This loss put the Stags in serious trouble in trying to qualify for the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament.
The page has turned and now it is April-All ECAC Lacrosse League games for the rest of the season and crunch time. The Stags first task is to travel to Baltimore to play the Defending National Champions, Loyola. Loyola was too strong for Fairfield this day beating the Stags by a 13-7 score. Eric Warden had 2 goals and a ground ball, Marshall Johnson got to seven ground balls and Michael Roe won 15 of 22 face offs. The last home game of the season, the Stags played Air Force Academy on Lessing Field. Another tough hard fought win by a 9-8 score. Air Force tied the score at 8-8 with 51 seconds left in the game. Jordan Greenfield scores the game winner with 33 seconds left in the game. Greenfield had a monster day in getting 4 goals and 2 ground balls. Colin McLinden had 3 assists on the day and got to 5 ground balls. Jack Murphy had 12 saves in the Air Force game. This was Senior Day and the Stags faithful said good-bye to five seniors, Sam Snow, Marshall Johnson, Gordie Wells, Matt Rubetone, and Dan Niebler. The Stags got a break when the news that Bellarmine had lost in an ECAC matchup. This gave the Stags a chance to win a berth in the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament needing a win in Denver or over Ohio State in the last two games. The Stags traveled to Colorado to play the newly #1 Nationally ranked, University of Denver. The Stags came home with an upset victory 10-9 in OT with Sam Snow getting the game winner in the first OT. This is the second year in a row that Snow has scored the winning goal in OT versus Denver. Snow had two goals, one assist and three ground balls. Eric Warden lead the Stags in scoring with 4 goals-all in the second half. Jack Murphy had 11 saves, one caused turnover and 2 ground balls. The win was the first for the program against the #1 ranked team and secured the Stags entry into the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament. The final game of 2013 saw the Stags traveling to Columbus, Ohio to play the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Stags and Buckeyes were tied to tied at 7-7 entering the fourth period. The Buckeyes then scored 7 straight goals in the fourth quarter. Jordan Greenfield had four goals with a ground ball. Neubauer had two goals and one assist. Snow had two goals, one assist and 3 ground balls. OSU then went on to beat Loyola and Denver in the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament and entered the NCAA Tournament as the #3 seed. In a rematch with Denver in the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament in only 11 days, the Pioneers topped the Stags by a 10-8 score. The Stags and Pioneers were tied at 7-7 in the fourth quarter when Denver went on a two goal run to take the final lead. Greenfield lead the Stags with three goals, one assist and a caused turnover. Warden had another big day against Denver with three goals and two ground balls. Snow concluded his Fairfield career with one goal and three assists.
The Stags scored 134 goals this season off of 525 shots for a .255 shooting percentage and averaged 8.93 goals per game. Fairfield averaged 35 shots per game. The Stags scored 67 goals via the assist and 67 unassisted goals. The man up unit scored 17 goals out of 66 chances for .258 conversion rate. The team snagged 471 ground balls and had 204 turnovers while causing 98 turnovers for the season. The face off unit won 152 contests out of 323 chances for a .471 winning percentage. Fairfield had a .866 clear percentage out of 233 good clears out of 269 chances. The officials called 44 penalties on the Stags this year or less than 3 flags a game and 36.30 minutes of penalty time in the box.
Fairfield’s best scoring period was the opening session with 38 goals and 35 goals in the fourth quarter, The second quarter saw the Stags hitting the back of the net 33 times and 27 times in the third quarter. One OT goal was scored in the first OT period against Denver.
Jordan Greenfield was the Stags leading scorer with 34 goals and 8 assists for a total of 42 points. Sam Snow finished his senior season with 20 goals and 15 assists for 35 points. Colin McLinden lead the team in assists with 19 and also scored 10 goals for 29 points. Tristian Sperry had 22 points with 17 goals and 5 assists. Eric Warden finished the season with 15 goals and four assists for 19 points. TJ Neubauer had 14 goals and 2 assists to finish his freshman year with 16 points. Nick Guida had 11 points with 7 goals being scored and 4 assists. Both Marshall Johnson and Drew Federico had eight points with Johnson having five goals and three assists while Federico had 4 goals and 4 assists. Michael Roe finished the year strong in the face off circle winning 121 face offs out of 237 chances for a .511 winning percentage. Jack Murphy played all 900.56 minutes in goal this year while facing 527 shots. He allowed 145 goals with a 9.66 goals against average. He recorded 165 saves with a .532 save percentage.
To say the 2013 season was a disappointment maybe a harsh comment but I know Andy Copelan’s expectations for this team was much higher than a winning season and ECAC Tournament bid. The program achieved some highs this year-early in the year Fairfield was ranked #13 in the country -I believe this is the highest ranking ever achieved by Fairfield- and the team beat Denver in Denver when they were #1 in the country. Almost beat UNC in Chapel Hill. Six teams the Stags played in 2013 qualified for the NCAA Tournament and four of those teams are in the Elite Eight this weekend. So the strength of schedule was upgraded. The ECAC got three NCAA Tournament bids this year. Up from two bids last season for the ECAC. The future is bright. Only lose one top scorer for the 2014 season and another strong recruiting class will start in September. Plans for a new lacrosse stadium are underway and town approvals have been given. Maybe if I win the Powerball tonight I can get the field named for the the Founders!!! As we say goodbye to the 2013 season, we need to give a big thank you to the five departing seniors. In their four years at Fairfield, the Stags had four winning seasons, three ECAC Tournament bids and the best four season win loss mark for the program. THANK YOU-Sam Snow, Marshall Johnson, Gordie Wells, Matt Rubetone and Dan Niebler. It has been a great four years and you all have helped push the Fairfield Lacrosse Program to new heights. Good Luck in your future endeavors. Roger Yergeau ’73