Fairfield 12 Michigan 5 ECAC Semi Final May 1, 2014 Post Game Report

To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The #14/#15 Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse Stags beat the Michigan Wolverines in the first Semi Final game of the ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament. The Stags took an early lead of 2-1 at halftime and scored 10 goals in the second half to win 12-5. The game was played at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The Stags were lead by Senior Goalkeeper Jack Murphy who had 15 saves in the game including 9 saves in the second quarter and four ground balls and Junior Colin McLinden who scored four goals for the Stags. Senior Michael Roe was a major key to victory in winning 13 of 20 face offs in the game. Fairfield recorded its 12th win of the season matching the program’s record for victories. The Stags will play In the ECAC Lacrosse League Finals against Air Force on Saturday May 3rd at 5 PM. Air Force beat Ohio State by a 14-7 score in the second Semi Final game last night. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Channel 2.
Due time limitations, this game recap will be a condensed version. The game starts with Senior Jack Murphy in goal for the Stags and Robbie Zonino in the cage for the Wolverines. Taking the first face off of the game is Senior Michael Roe for Fairfield and Brad Lott for Michigan. Roe sets the tone of the game winning the first face off of the game and getting the ground ball to set up the Stags offense. Goal keeping ruled the first quarter as neither team was able to score a goal in the period. First quarter ended in a 0-0 tie. Both teams were shooting. Fairfield had eight shots in the first quarter and Michigan had seven shots. Murphy saved three potential goals in the period while the Freshman Zonino stopped five Fairfield shots. The second quarter starts with Roe and Lott taking only the second draw of the game with Roe getting the win and ground ball. Both teams’ offenses are working hard to solve the goalkeepers. In the first five minutes of the second stanza, the Stags took three shots while Wolverines fired off five shots including one shot that hit the post. Murphy got four saves in that flurry of Michigan shots. Fairfield was first on the board when Freshman Jake Knostman scored at 9:39 in the period with an assist from Sophomore Tristan Sperry. Almost 20 minutes before the first goal of the game was scored! Roe wins his third straight face off with Freshman Jay Walsh getting the ground ball playing the wing. Both teams keep shooting and the goalkeepers keep making saves after the first goal of the game. With 3:40 left in the first half, the officials call a push from behind penalty on Junior Max Buchanan. Michigan has a 30 second man up advantage. Wolverines are able to take advantage with Ian King getting an unassisted goal. The game is now tied at 1-1. Michigan’s Lott is able to get his first face off win of the game with his wing Dan Kinek getting the ground ball but Murphy makes a save on a quick Michigan shot. In the next three minutes, Wolverines have two shots with Murphy getting one save and the Stags have three shots that Zonino was able to get saves on all three shots. Knostman has a shot stopped by Zonino with 37 seconds left in the half but Freshman David Fleming gets the rebound ground ball. Coach Copelan uses his second time out of the first half with 32 ticks left on the clock. Stags restart the game. Junior Colin McLinden comes off a screen and finds the top corner of the goal to give the Stags a 2-1 halftime lead with 18 seconds left in the first half. Stags’ offense once again scored a goal late in the period after Coach Copelan sets up the play. First half ends with Fairfield leading 2-1. Murphy has 12 saves in the first half and Zonino has 9 saves in the first half. Both goalkeepers were “standing on their heads.”
Second half starts with Roe getting his third win of the afternoon at the face off circle and Sophomore Conor Barr getting the ground ball from the wing. Michigan’s Jeff Chu gets a 30 second pushing penalty at 14:25 of the third quarter. Stags are not able to get a man up goal but after both teams are even, Sophomore TJ Neubauer dodges his defender and puts a shot five hole that gives the Stags a 3-1 lead with 13:17 on the clock. Lott takes the next face off but Michigan has a failed clear. Sperry and McLinden make the Wolverines pay for the miscue. McLinden wraps around the cage to score with Sperry passing the ball to McLinden. Stags now lead 4-1 at the 10:15 mark of the second quarter. Michigan’s King gets his second goal of the game after a Stags turnover at 9:31 remaining in the quarter to cut the Fairfield lead to 4-2. For the next seven minutes both teams go back and forth. With 2:46 left in the quarter, Murphy gets a caused turnover and he starts the clear. Senior Shawn Honovich uses his speed in transition beating the Michigan defenders and scoring his first goal of the season at 2:42 of the third period. Stags now lead 5-2. Michigan’s Lott gets the face off win but Michigan has a turnover. After a Stags shot is wide and Wolverines clear, Michigan’s Riley Kennedy scores unassisted with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter to cut the Stags lead to 5-3. Period ends with Stags leading 5-3.
Fourth quarter starts with Roe getting the face off win and the ground ball to start the Stags offense. McLinden gets his hat trick firing a shot into the Michigan just 40 seconds into the last quarter to take a 6-3 lead. Roe is dominating and gets the win at the X and the ground ball. Stags offense is firing and getting ground balls. Senior Eric Warden gets an unassisted goal with 12:59 left in the game to take a 7-3 lead. Roe again takes the face off and the ground ball but the Stags have a turnover. Michigan’s Brendan Gauchan scores unassisted at 11:58 to cut the Fairfield lead to 7-4. Lott wins the face off but Murphy stops a Michigan shot and starts the clear. Sperry finds McLinden who scores his fourth goal of the game to extend the Stags lead to 8-4 with 9:40 left in the game. Roe once again wins the face off and the ground ball to start the Stags offense. Coach Copelan calls a time out to rest his team and set up strategy. The Fairfield offense works the Michigan defense. Warden sets up Freshman David Fleming who fires his high heat past the Michigan goalkeeper at 8:11 for a 9-4 Fairfield lead. The next two minutes the teams go back and forth. With 6:03 left in the game, Knostman gets his second goal of the game to increase the Stags lead to 10-4. Roe wins the face off and gets the ground ball. Both teams have turnovers for the next three minutes when Michigan’s David McCormick is able to break the Stags three goal run with an unassisted goal with 3:53 left in the contest. Fairfield now leads 10-5. Roe gets the win and Senior Conner Maniatty gets the wing ground ball. Michigan’s McCormick is called for 30 second holding penalty at 2:25. Stags man up unit does not convert but when the teams are at even strength, the offense gets a goal from Neubuaer unassisted with 1:40 in the game. Roe gets the face off win and the ground ball. Wolverines double the ball including the goalkeeper. Warden gets a quick empty net goal at 1:20 left in the game. Fairfield leads 12-5. Stags Louis DiGiacomo takes the face off against Will Biagi. DiGiacomo gets the win and Maniatty gets the ground ball. Michigan’s Chase Brown gets a one minute cross checking penalty with 48 seconds left in the game. Fairfield holds the ball till the final horn. Final score is Fairfield 12- Michigan 5.
Fairfield outshot Michigan by a 39 to 33 margin. Both Murphy and Zonino had 15 saves in the game. Murphy had 12 saves in the first half while Zonino had 9 saves also in the first half. Stags won the ground ball game taking 35 gbs while the Wolverines got 20 gbs. Fairfield only had eight turnovers and Michigan had 13 turnovers. Neither teams face off men had a violation called on them. Stags won 14 of 21 face offs while Wolverines won 7 of 21 face offs. Michigan successfully cleared 16 of 18 times and Fairfield cleared cleanly 13 of 18 times. Wolverines scored in its only man up chance while the Stags did not get a man up goal in three chances.
Stars of the game-Three key Stags had great games. ECAC Goalkeeper of the Year Senior Jack Murphy had 15 saves, four ground balls and one caused turnover. All reports were that Murphy played “lights out” matching the Wolverines goal keeper who had a sensational first half by all reports. Senior Michael Roe, back to 2012 form, took 13 of 20 face offs during the game thwarting a pre game advantage for Michigan and Junior Colin McLinden who matched his career high scoring four goals in the game. Offensively, Senior Eric Warden had two goals and one assist, Freshman Jake Knostman, shades of Sam Snow, had two goals including the first goal of game, on three shots and one ground ball, Sophomore TJ Neubauer who had two goals and one ground ball. Junior Tristan Sperry played quarterback getting three assists, two ground balls and one caused turnover. Senior D Middie Shawn Honovich scored his first goal of the season, he is a Westchester, NY player. Freshman David Fleming who cranked high heat per a Inside Lacrosse game tweet recorded a goal and had two ground balls. The ECAC Rookie of the Year, Fleming, has scored a goal in every game in the 2014 season. Defensively, Senior Toby Armour had two caused turnovers and three ground balls and Senior Greg Perraut had one ground ball and one caused turnover. The Stags defense including Junior Max Buchan only allowed one Michigan goal in the first half of the game. That is outstanding defense along with the great play by Murphy in goal.
The Stags offense solved the hot goalkeeper in the second half with 7 goals in the fourth quarter, great goalkeeping and defense and domination at the face off circle all combined for the Semi Final win. Fairfield will face Air Force in the Finals on Saturday May3rd at 5 PM for the ECAC Lacrosse League Title and the NCAA automatic qualifying bid. The Stags will be in the Finals for the third time in the past four years. Air Force will play in the finals for the first team. This is a huge game for both programs. The game should be quite a match up. By the way Quint, Ohio State and Jesse King are gone and Hobart beat St. Joseph’s last night in the NEC Semi Finals. Great top 20!! The pre game report will follow later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. GO STAGS!!!!! Roger Yergeau ‘73

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