The Fairfield Stags’ laxmen nationally ranked at #13/#14 will play the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday April 28th at 1 PM on the Fairfield campus. The game will be played on Lessing Field. This will be the last game of the regular season for both teams. Saturday is Senior Day and the Stags seniors and parents will be honored before the game. Fairfield comes into the game with an 11-2 overall season record and a 4-1 record in ECAC League play while the OSU Buckeyes have a 7-6 overall record and is 4-1 in the ECAC League. Both teams will be playing for the #2 and #3 seeding in the ECAC Tournament next week.
The OSU Buckeyes have had an up and down season. They opened the season with a home win over Detroit by a 11-6 score. The Buckeyes traveled to Macon, Ga and beat Mercer by a 15-8 margin. Continuing on the road, OSU played in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. taking on Denver in an ECAC clash and came away with a 10-9 upset victory. In a six game home stand, the Buckeyes lost the first five games. UMass, who has been ranked in the top 5 all year, beat OSU by a 9-3 score. Penn State next came to Columbus and beat the Buckeyes by a 5-2 margin. In an upset, OSU was beaten by Robert Morris by a 9-7 score. At the time of the game, Virginia was the top ranked team in the country and played OSU in Ohio Stadium. UVA was the winner by a 11-9 score. Next in was Notre Dame, who has been in the top 10 all year, and the Irishmen narrowly beat the Buckeyes by a 8-7 margin. ECAC opponent Bellarmine next came to Columbus and the Buckeyes won the game by a 13-2 score. OSU traveled to Baltimore and lost to Loyola by a 8-7 margin. The road trip continued to Geneva, NY where the Buckeyes beat Hobart in OT by a 10-9 score. Next up was a trip to Ann Arbor, Mich. to play the Wolverines of Michigan (an ECAC member in 2013). The Buckeyes won this game by a 12-9 margin. Last Saturday, ECAC Air Force played in the Ohio Stadium in front of 13,000 fans. OSU shut out the Falcons for the first 42 minutes of the game. The Buckeyes were winning by a 3-0 score in the first quarter and were ahead by an 8-0 score at halftime. The teams scored three goals in the third period and OSU was ahead by a 10-1 margin at the end of the third period. OSU won the fourth period 4 goals to three goals and the final score was 14-4.
The Buckeyes have scored 120 goals out of 461 shots for a .260 shot percentage and a 9.23 goals per game average. Their opponents have scored 97 goals out of 364 shots with a .266 shot percentage and a 7.46 goals scored per game. OSU has scored 82 of their goals via an assist and scored 38 goals unassisted. The opposition has scored 49 goals with an assist and 48 goals have been scored unassisted. On man up opportunities the Buckeyes have scored 13 goals out of 41 chances for a conversion rate of .317. Their opponents have scored 11 goals on man up opportunities out of 39 chances for a .282 conversion rate. The team gets off to a fast start with 35 goals in the first quarter and 33 goals in the second quarter. They have scored 27 goals in the third quarter and 24 goals in the fourth quarter. One goal has been scored in the first OT period. Their opponents like the second half for scoring. In the third and fourth quarters the opposition have scored 27 goals. The second quarter have the opponents scoring 24 goals and 19 goals in the first period.
OSU face off unit have 117 wins out of 261 chances for a .448 face off percentage. The opposition have 144 wins at the face off X out of the 261 chances for a .552 winning percentage. The Buckeyes have gotten to 403 ground balls and the opponents have snagged 382 ground balls. The OSU defense have been credited with 106 caused turnovers and the opposition have caused 82 turnovers. Buckeyes have turned over the ball 196 times this season and the opponents have been charged with 223 turnovers. Both OSU and their opponents have been flagged for a penalty 45 times this season.
OSU’s big offensive gun is Logan Schuss, # 18, who has 38 goals this year and 15 assists for 53 points. Jessie King, # 19, has 13 goals and 7 assists for 20 points and Dominque Alexander also has 20 points with 10 goals and 10 assists. Tyler Frederick has 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points while Nick Liddi has 13 points with 5 goals and 8 assists. Rounding their double digit scorers are Turner Evans with 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points and Brock Soronsen has 11 points from scoring 11 goals. Goalkeeper Greg Dutton has played 686 minutes this season and has allowed 84 goals for a 7.17 goals against average. He has made 107 saves for a .556 save percentage. Scott Spencer has played 97 minutes this season in the goal with 15 goals against for a 9.25 goals against average and 12 saves for a .444 save percentage.
The Stags have scored 139 goals off of 474 shot attempts for .269 shot percentage and 10.69 goals scored per game. The opposition has scored 116 goals from 446 shots for a .260 shot percentage and 8.92 goals per game. Fairfield has scored 66 goals with an assist and 73 unassisted goals. Opponents have scored 67 goals via an assist and 49 unassisted goals. The extra man unit has scored 13 goals out of 35 opportunities for a .371 conversion percentage. Opponents have also scored 13 man up goals from 46 chances for a conversion rate of .283. The Stags also have two man down goals, both scored by Brent Adams. The first period has been the Stags most productive scoring quarter with 42 goals being scored followed by the second period with 33 goals. The third period has seen the Stags score 31 times this season and 29 times in the fourth quarter. Two goals have come in the first OT period, and one goal in the second and third OT periods.
Defensively, the Stags have 85 caused turnovers while the opposition has been credited with 108 caused turnovers. Fairfield has scooped up 376 ground balls while the opponents have gotten to 387 ground balls. The Fairfield faceoff unit has 187 wins from 303 chances for a .607 winning percentage. Opposing teams have 119 faceoff wins out of 303 chances for a .393 winning percentage. The Stags have turned the ball over 199 times this season while the opposition has turned the ball over 186 times. Fairfield has been assessed with 49 penalties this season and the opposition has been flagged 38 times.
Sam Snow has taken over the scoring lead for the Stags with 31 goals and 7 assists for 38 points with four game winning goals. Brent Adams has 24 goals and 10 assists for 34 points. In third on the Stags scoring list is John Snellman with 27 goals and 3 assists for 30 points. Eric Warden who did not play in the Denver game due to injury has 16 goals and 6 assists for 22 points. A trio of freshmen are next on the scoring list. Colin McLinden has 7 goals and 15 assists for 22 points also and Tristan Sperry now has 10 goals and 6 assists for 16 points. Drew Federico also has 16 points with 7 goals and 9 assists. Charlie Cipriano has played 795 minutes between the pipes this season. He has allowed 114 goals with a 8.60 goals against average. He has been credited with 146 saves for a .562 save percentage.
Keys to Victory-Two main keys. First is to avoid a let down from the big victory over Denver. The second is to shut down the Buckeyes’ leading scorer Logan Schuss. The Stags defense came up big last week holding down the Denver big scorers and playing tight defense in the fourth period. This trend needs to be continued. Sam Snow has been hot and will need to continue his scoring. I fully expect John Snellman to have a big day on his last home game. Numbers seem to indicate that the Stags have a big advantage in the face off X. Look for Michael Roe to continue to set up the Stags offense with his faceoff wins. Concerned that the Buckeyes have played close games against their top opponents and they would like to get a win against a nationally ranked team. Overall, the Stags should continue their winning ways and get their 12 win of the year. Roger Yergeau ’73