To the Founder and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Providence Friars beat the Stags on a very cold Tuesday afternoon by a 14-11 score. The box score described the weather as “It Cold”. Providence took an early 2-0 lead and never looked back. Fairfield’s offense was lead by Sophomore TJ Neubauer who had three goals and an assist along with Junior Tristian Sperry who added two goals and two assists and Senior Eric Warden scoring two goals and an assist. The Stags are now 2-2 for the season and the Friars went home with a 3-1 season record.
The game starts with Senior Jack Murphy in goal and Providence’s Tyler Himes in the cage. Taking the initial face off is Senior Michael Roe and Ryan Shaw for the Friars. Roe wins the opening draw and Junior Bryan Barry on the wing gets the ground ball. Stags go on offense but have a turnover on their first offensive set. Providence’s offense sets up after clearing the ball. Murphy saves the Friars first shot of the game at 12:45 but the clear fails on a caused turnover and Providence gets to the ground ball. The Friars Nolan Fillett scores at 12:20 with Andrew Barton getting the assist for a 1-0 lead. Shaw and Roe go to the X with Shaw winning the face and getting the ground ball. After working the offense for a minute, the Friars shot is high but they back up the ball. Another minute of working the wheel, Senior Shawn Honovich has a caused turnover and Senior Greg Perraut gets to the ground ball. During the clear, Providence’s Sean Wright is called for a slash at 10:09. Man up unit comes on the field and patiently works the ball. Sophomore Mikey Gulasey takes a shot at 9:35 that Hines saves. The Friars are unable to clear the ball and the Stags bring the ball back into the offensive zone. The penalty expires but the Stags offense is looking for a good shot. Freshman Dave Fleming takes a wide shot at 8:10. At 7:49 Stags have a turnover and Alex Corboy gets the ground ball. Thirty seconds later, PC’s Joseph Fitzpatrick score unassisted to push the lead to 2-0. Roe now beats Shaw at the faceoff circle with Barry getting the ground ball. Stags look for a good shot and Sperry feeds Neubauer who puts it into the back of the cage to cut the Friars lead to 2-1 with 6:09 on the first quarter clock. Shaw takes this face off with Jake Newman getting the ground ball for the Friars. Finally the Friars go to the cage and Barton scores unassisted at 4:50 to give PC a 3-1 lead. Shaw beats Roe on the draw and Andrew Pappas gets the ground ball. The Friars are content to just to keep circling the ball around the cage. Officials put on the 30 second shot clock warning at 3:20 and 5 seconds later Wright scores for the Friars with Corboy getting an assist to make is a 4-1 game. Coach Copelan calls his first time out of the half to settle things down. Roe now beats Shaw for the faceoff with Barry getting the ground ball. Stags are working their offense set and Freshman Jake Knotsman powers home a shot into the cage at 1:44 to cut the Providence lead to 4-2. The goal is unassisted. Officials call a face off violation on Roe and PC picks up the ball. Two Friars shots go wide. In a final second scramble for a loose ball, Junior Max Buchanan with two seconds remaining of the first quarter is called for slashing. PC’s man up unit just holds the ball to end the period. Providence has the first quarter lead by a 4-2 score.
The Friars start the second quarter with the ball as they had the ball with a man in the box. They find an opening in the first 29 second. Robert Caffery scores a man up goal with an assist from Wright. PC now extends its lead to 5-2. This is the first man down goal given up by the Stags in the 2014 season. Roe beats Shaw on the resulting face off and Roe gets to the ground ball. Stags look for a good shot and Freshman Dave Fleming puts home a hard shot unassisted to make it a 5-3 game at 13:37 in the second quarter. This time Shaw wins the face off and Will Morehead gets the ground ball. PC’s offense is called for a stall and the officials give them a 30 second shot warning. A quick shot is taken and is saved by Murphy but the ball is loose in front of the crease. Greg FitzMaurice bats the ball into the net. FitzMaurice is credited with an unassisted goal to give the Friars a 6-3 lead at the 11:48 mark. Shaw and Roe continue their battle and Shaw wins this time and gets to the ground ball. Providence’s coach calls time out at 11:42. Friars restart and 45 seconds later Murphy saves a shot and starts the clear. For almost a minute the Stags work their offense but have a turnover and PC clears. At 9:08, Wright scores for the Friars unassisted to make the score 7-3. Roe this time beats Wright and Roe gets to the ground ball. Stags have a turnover 20 seconds later and the Friars clear. At 7:45, Friars take a wide shot and retain the ball. Officials call a push with possession technical foul on Senior Toby Armour. The Fairfield man down unit is solid and in 30 seonds both teams are now at even strength. The officials now flag Sophomore Conor Barr for a 30 second technical push. Man down unit pressures the Providence EMO team and a shot by Corboy is saved by Murphy. The teams are even but the Fairfield clear is stopped and PC has a caused turnover. Their offense strikes quickly with Corboy scoring on an assist from Barton to push the PC lead to 8-3. Roe beats Shaw with Neubaurer on the wing getting the ground ball. Neubauer finds a cutting Sperry. Sperry scores with an assist to Neubauer to half the score to 8-4 at 5:32. Roe again beats Shaw at the face off circle. Roe gets the ground ball and immediately goes to the cage but his shot is wide. Friars’ coach calls a time out at 5:26 to stop the Stags momentum. Stags restart and quickly Senior Eric Warden takes a shot that goes wide. Fairfield retains the ball and a second shot by Warden is saved by Himes who starts the clear. The Friars offense connects with Fitzpatrick getting an assist from FitzMaurice for a 9-4 lead at 4:27. Shaw wins the draw and ground ball against Roe. Providence is in no rush to take a shot. With 3:18. Wright’s shot is saved by Murphy. Stags clear but the offense has a turnover and PC gets to the ground ball. Clear is good and Wright scores again with an assist by FitzMaurice at 1:48 for a 10-4 Providence lead. Shaw gets the face off as the officials call a violation on Roe. A quick Friars shot goes wide but they retain the ball. With 19 seconds remaining in the period, Murphy makes a save on Wright’s shot but the Stags clear fails on a caused turnover. PC gets the loose ground ball but the horn sounds to end the first half. Teams go into the locker room with a 10-4 lead in the Friars favor.
Second half starts with Roe and Shaw continuing their face off battle. Shaw takes the first draw of the half with Morehead getting the ground ball. Stags’ Barr gets a caused turnover, picks up the ground ball and starts the clear. Warden takes a shot that Himes saves 45 seconds into the period and the clear is good. Again, PC is no rush to take a shot. At 12:34 of the third quarter, Corboy gets an unassisted goal to make it an 11-4 game. Shaw wins the second draw of the half and gets the ground ball. Barr gets another caused turnover and Buchanan gets the loose ground ball. Clear is good. Stags’ Sophomore Conor Barr gets a loose ball on an errant pass and he is tripped by PC’s Trup Ortlieb. Man up for one minute for the Stags. A quick shot by Gulasey is saved by Himes. The Friars clear but Armour creates a quick turnover. Armour gets the ground ball and carries it into the offensive half. He is slashed by PC’s Jak Wawrzniak. On the slow whistle the Stags retain the ball. However the ball goes back to close to the midfield stripe and Corboy goes offsides. Whistle blows and Stags have a two man advantage for 1:30 at 9:16 of the third period. The EMO unit works fast and Warden scored with an assist from Junior Colin McLinden to make it a 11-5 game at 9:07. Goal releases both penalties. Shaw wins the face and Jimmy Cunningham gets the ground ball. PC offense is patient and at 7:29, Murphy makes a save. Clear for Fairfield is good. Almost 90 seconds later, McLinden sets up Fleming who scores. Now it is an 11-6 game. Shaw wins the faceoff and gets the ground ball. Murphy picks off a PC pass and he clears the ball. Fairfield’s offense takes its time and at 5:56 Fleming scores with McLinden picking up the assist, Now PC leads 11-6. Shaw continues his win streak for the second half at the X and he gets the ground ball. Corboy scores with Barton getting an assist at the 4:36 mark of the third quarter for a 12-6 Friars lead. Roe is called for a face off violation. Friars’ ball. With 4 minutes remaining in the period, Murphy creates a turnover and he picks up the ground ball. He starts the clear and the Stags offense looks for a shot. But another turnover and PC’s Corboy gets the ground ball. The Friars are really slowing things down, killing time on the clock. A shot at 2:20 goes wide and they retain the ball. Another 50 seconds off the clock but this time Barton’s unassisted shot gets by Murphy. With 1:27 remaining in the quarter, the Friars lead is now13-6. Junior Louis DiGiacomo now goes to the faceoff circle and takes the draw against Shaw. DiGiacomo wins and he gets the resulting ground ball. Sperry finds a cutting Neubauer with 50 seconds remaining in the period to cut the lead to 13-7. Shaw wins the second face off against DiGiacomo with Jimmy Cunningham getting the ground ball. Stags defense is now very aggressive and Armour creates a turnover which Senior Shawn Honovich gets the ground ball with 9 seconds remaining. The Stags cannot get off a last second shot and the third period ends with Providence leading 13-7.
DiGiacomo starts the fourth quarter at the X against Shaw and DiGiacomo gets the win and ground ball. After holding the ball on offense for 35 seconds, a Stags have a turnover. PC fails to clear when Buchanan has a caused turnover and gets the resulting ground ball. Clear is good and Fairfield’s offense is looking for a good shot. Sperry takes a wide shot after 80 seconds of probing. The Stags keep the ball and 10 seconds later, Sperry’s second shot in this flurry finds the back of the net. With 12:21 remaining in the game, the Providence lead is now 13-8. DiGiacomo again beats Shaw and he gets the ground ball. Stags offense is working to get a good shot when Neubaurer fires one of his rockets into the PC goal unassisted with 11:35 showing on the game clock. The flag was down when the goal was scored for a cross checking penalty on Providence’s Ryan Newman. Man down face off for the EMO team. DiGiacomo beats Shaw and Buchanan gets the ground ball. Stags successfully clear. Warden gets off a good shot but it is blocked. Coach Copelen uses his first time out of the second half. On the restart, McLinden shot on the set play is saved by Himes. PC tries to clear but the Stags want the ball. The Friars have a turnover and Fairfield gets the ball into the offensive zone as both teams are at even strength. With Warden directing the offense, he finds Knotsman who gets the goal to make it a 13-10 game with 9:32 on the clock. Once again, DiGiacomo takes the face off away from Shaw and gets the ground ball. Twenty seconds into the Stags offense, the Friars have a caused turnover and they clear the ball. Time out is called by the Providence coach. On the restart, PC clearly is killing the clock and the officials put on the 30 second shot clock warning. Wright takes a shot that Murphy saves. He gets the ground ball and starts the clear. Fleming takes a shot but it hits the post. Stags’ Federico gets the ground ball and resets the offensive set. However, another Fairfield turnover 20 seconds later and PC clears. They take a minute off the clock and Corboy scores a goal unassisted with 4:26 left in the game. Providence now makes it a 14-10 game in their favor. DiGiacomo is hot at the X. He wins the face off and gets the ground ball. Stags offense works for a good shot but have a turnover. PC clears. At 3:04, Providence’s coach uses his second time out of the half. Fairfield’s defense is doubling the ball on the restart and makes the Friars to have a turnover. Coach Copelen uses his second time out of the half at 1:46. After the Stags restart, Warden’s hard shot finds the back of the net unassisted. It is now a 14-11 game. DiGiacomo comes out to the faceoff circle with 97 seconds left on the clock. He beats Shaw and Neubauer gets the ground ball. Providence creates a quick turnover and gets the ground ball. The Stags want the ball back and PC can not clear. With 58 seconds remaining, Federico gets the ground ball when Providence has a turnover. Fleming takes a shot that Himes saves. Himes comes out of the cage to take the ball down the field. In my estimation, he trips on his own feet. Ball comes loose and Stags put it in the net. However the official throws his flag and calls McLinden for a slash. Since it was a defensive end penalty, PC gets the ball at midfield and has an extra man. Stags do not pressure the ball and the game ends with the Friars winning 14-11.
Providence outshot the Stags by a 29-23 margin. Fairfield won the ground ball game by a 31-29 mark. Stags had three faceoff violations versus none for the Friars. Face offs were even with both teams getting 14 of the 28 draws. Providence has 11 successful clears out of 16 chances while Fairfield cleared 16 out of 19 tries. Both teams had one man up goal on four chances. The Stags had 14 turnovers while PC has 12 turnovers. Providence has four 30 shot clock warnings called while the Stags were never called for a stall. Murphy is credited with eight saves and Himes for PC had six saves for the game.
Stars of the game-TJ Neubauer had three goals and one assist for four points while Tristian Sperry had two goals and two assist for four points. Conor Barr had a very good game in my estimation and had two caused turnovers on the day.
Both Fleming and Knotsman had two goals for the game. They are making the Frosh of the Year a difficult choice! Neubauer’s four point day gives him the edge for the Soph of the Year designation.
Seen at the game-Small crowd for a mid week game and a very cold one at that. Coach Will Mraz was there after spending time at the Women’s Team game, a win over Lehigh.
A quick turnaround for the Stags. Take on cross state Ivy League Yale at 3 PM on Saturday March 8th. Yale comes in ranked #11 in both the Coaches and Media Polls and has one of the top face off specialist in the nation. The game will be part of the double header with the Women’s team playing at 12 noon against Vermont. It is also the Fairfield Faceoff for a Cause as both teams will be raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. For a $15 donation you get a specially designed T-Shirt and the teams will be having a silent auction at the game. Suppose to be a 50 degree day on Saturday. Great lacrosse weather. Try and make it to the game!! Best Regards- Roger Yergeau ’73