The #17 ranked Fairfield Stags traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado to play the Air Force Academy and came away with a 12-10 victory. This victory gives the Stags a 10-2 season record and 3-1 record in ECAC play. With today’s win, the Stags locked up a slot in the season ending ECAC Tournament with the winner of the tournament getting the automatic qualifier bid for the NCAA tournament. It marks the sixth time in program history that the Stags have reached 10 wins in a season.
Lacrosse is a game of runs and this proved again to be the case in today’s contest. The Stags came out hot scoring three goals in the first 5:07 of the game. Sophomore Connor Maniatty got his first goal of the season to start the scoring with an assist from Dylan McGoldrick for a 1-0 Stags lead at the 13:35 mark of the first period. At the 10:50 mark of the period, the Stags leading goal scorer John Snellman got his 27th of the season and continued his 22 game scoring streak with an unassisted goal for a 2-0 Stags lead. Senior Nick Tandoi got his second goal of the season with an assist from frosh Drew Federico at the 9:53 mark for a 3-0 Stags lead. Air Force responded with its first goal of the game with an unassisted goal to cut the Stags lead to 3-1 with 7:04 left in the first period. Sam Snow gets his first goal of the game with an assist from freshman Colin McLinden for a 4-1 Stags lead with 5:30 mark of the first period. Freshman Tristian Sperry gets his first goal of the game with 3:54 showing on the clock to push the Stags lead to 5-1. Air Force now goes on a three goal run in the final minutes of the first period and the beginning of the second period. The Falcons Tommy McKee who would end up with a hat trick gets an assisted goal with 3:19 in the first period to cut the Stags lead to 5-2. With only 7 seconds left in the opening period, the Falcons get an assisted goal for a 5-3 Stags lead.
Scoring slows in the second period but Air Force strikes first to continue its three goal run with 30 seconds gone in the second period on an unassisted goal to make it a 5-4 game from its leading scorer Mike Crampton. Now the Stags go on another three goal run. The Stags Sperry gets two unassisted goals to push the lead to 7-4 at the 6:17 and 1:49 marks of the period. Thirty seconds later, Brent Adams gets on the board with an assist from Snow to close out the scoring in the second period to make it a 8-4 game.
The third period proved to be where the defenses took over and only three goals were scored. Air Force cuts the lead to 8-5 with an unassisted goal at the 8:33 mark. The Falcons cut the margin to 8-6 with another unassisted goal to make it an 8-6 game with 6:53 left in the second period. Air Force takes it first and only penalty in the game on a 30 second pushing call. The Stags extra man unit lead by sophomore Jordan Greenfield takes a feed from Sam Snow for a 9-6 lead to close out the third period scoring with 2:54 left in the period.
Sperry for the Stags takes a ground ball pickup from the fourth quarter face off and scores unassisted with just 12 ticks off the clock for a 10-6 Fairfield lead to complete his four goal game. The Falcons come back at the 13:35 mark of the fourth quarter on an unassisted goal to make it a 10-7 Fairfield lead. Snow pushes the lead to 11-7 two minutes later with an unassisted goal. There is no scoring for the next almost seven minutes before Air Force goes on a three goal run in a 2:41 span to cut the Stags lead to 11-10. First the Falcons’ McKee gets his second goal of the day assist by Erik Smith with 4:39 left in the game to make it a 11-8 game. Air Force next scores with 2:49 on the clock on an assisted goal to make it a 11-9 game. McKee completes his hat trick and the Falcons three goal run make it a 11-10 game with 1:56 left in the game. Air Force wins the ensuing face off and put a shot on net with 1:27 left in the game. Charlie Cipriano makes his 16th save of the game. The Stags successfully clear the ball and Snow would get his hat trick of the game with 48 seconds left in the game. Snow’s goal was unassisted. In the final face off of the game after Snow’s goal, Michael Roe wins the face off and Brendan McTeague picks up the ground ball to help seal the victory.
Air Force out shot the Stags by a 45 to 27 margin. Charlie Cipriano had to make a season high 16 saves versus the 11 saves credited for the Falcons goal keeper. The ground ball battle was won by Air Force by a 45 to 43 margin. Roe won 12 of his 22 face offs in this game and got a game leading 9 ground balls. Marshall Johnson won 2 of his 4 face offs and had four ground balls. The Stags face off unit won 14 of the 26 face off taken during the game. Brendan McTeague had four ground balls including the last ground ball on the final faceoff. Reed Marko had four of the Stags nine caused turnovers. Fairfield’s man down defense faced five penalties in the game and blanked the Falcons in all five man up chances. Snow ended up the game with five points, three goals and two assists.
Fairfield next plays the current # 8 nationally ranked Denver Pioneers at home on Lessing Field on Saturday April 21st at 1 PM (Denver plays Loyola after this report was written). During this game the 40th anniversary of the 1972 team will be honored along with the 25th anniversay of the undefeated 1987 club team.