To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Naval Academy comes to Fairfield University on Tuesday February 19th at 3 PM for a game against the Stags Laxmen 2013 on Alumni Field. Navy comes into Fairfield with a 2-0 record, their best start since 2009, and the Stags have 1-0 record after its road win against Bryant University on Saturday. This game will be the Stags home season opener for the 2013 season. Navy is unranked and the Stags have moved up from #16 in the preseason polls to #15 in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Division 1 Coaches Poll.
Navy has played both of their games at home so this will be their first game on the road. On February 9th, the Midshipmen beat Virgina Military Academy by a 20-7 score. On Saturday, Navy beat Detroit University by a 11-7 score. Detroit took an early 1-0 lead and Navy tied the game up at 1-1 just before the first period ended. The Midshipmen score the first two goals in the second period but Detroit got one back to cut the lead to 3-2. Navy then went a three goal run in 2 minutes and 27 seconds to take a 6-2 halftime lead. The Mids scored just 37 seconds into the third period and added another goal to push the lead to 8-2. The Titians cut the lead to 8-3 after being shut out for 17 minutes to end the third period. Navy scores three of the next four goals to run the lead to 11-4 with 8:16 left in the game. Detroit made a three goal run over the next three minutes to make it a 11-7 game and the game concluded with neither team scoring in the last 4:30 of the game.
The Midshipmen have scored 31 goals this season off of 93 shots and are averaging 15.5 goals per game on a .333 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 14 goals off of 55 shots for 7.0 goals per game average with a .255 shot percentage. The Mids have scored 17 assisted goals and 14 unassisted goals while their opposition has scored 6 unassisted goals and 8 assisted goals. Navy has cashed in 2 man up goals out of 8 chances for a .250 conversion percentage. Their opponents have also scored 2 man up goals out of 13 chances for a .154 conversion rate. Interestingly, the Mids already have 2 man down goals this season while their opponents have not scored any man down goals. This is interesting because most teams only score two or three man down goals in a season. Navy has won 29 of 52 faceoffs taken this season for a winning percentage of .558 and the opponents have won 23 of 52 faceoffs for a .442 winning percentage.
Navy has gotten to 83 ground balls and their opponents have scooped up 56. The Mids have caused 26 while the opposition has turned over Navy 14 times this year. Navy has 42 turnovers this season while their opponents have turned the ball over 52 times this season. The Midshipmen have been penalized 13 times this year and the opponents have been flagged 8 times.
The Naval Academy has scored 6 goals in the first period this season and hit the back for the net 11 times in the second period. After the halftime break, Navy has scored 8 times in the third period and 6 times in the final stanza. Their opponents have just 2 goals in the first period and 1 goal in the second period. In the third period their opponents offenses have woken up and got 4 goals in the third period and 7 goals in the final period.
Junior Tucker Hull leads the team in scoring with 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points in the 2013 campaign. Junior attackman Austin Heneveld has three goals and 5 assists to tie Hull for the scoring lead with 8 points. Erik Hoffstadt and Sam Jones have 6 points with Hoffstadt getting 4 goals and 2 assists and Jones has three goals and assists for 2013. Senior goal keeper Nolan Hickey made a career high 7 saves last Saturday and has been in the cage for 105 minutes of the 120 minutes played this season. He has allowed 11 goals against for a 6.29 goals against average. He has been credited with 12 saves for a .522 save percentage and has faced 44 shots. John Conners has played 13 minutes and allowed 2 goals and Paul Zimmerman played for 1 minute plus this year and allowed one goal.
The Stags scored 8 goals on 36 shot attempts versus Bryant for 8.0 goals per game average and a . 222 shot percentage. Bryant got 6 goals on 43 shot attempts for a 6.0 goals per game average by the opposition for a .140 shot percentage. The Stags scored four assisted and unassisted goals on Saturday while Bryant got three assisted and unassisted goals. Fairfield did not score in the two extra man chances for a .000 conversion rate and Bryant got one extra man goal out of 4 attempts for a .250 conversion rate. The Stags scooped up 23 ground balls and Bryant got to 38 ground balls. Fairfield turned the ball over 15 times on Saturday while the Bulldogs had 19 turnovers. The Stags defense caused 9 turnovers while Bryant created 8 caused turnovers. The Stags won 3 of 18 faceoffs for a .153 winning percentage while the Bulldogs won 15 of 18 faceoffs for a .833 winning percentage. Fairfield was assessed for 4 penalties on Saturday while Bryant was flagged only twice.
Fairfield scored twice in the opening period and once in both the second and third periods on Saturday with four goals coming in the final stanza. Bryant got one goal in both the first and fourth periods and scored two goals in the second and third period.
Jordan Greenfield off his four goal game on Saturday leads the team in scoring with four points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has one goal and two assists for three points and Eric Warden had two assists for two points. Sam Snow, Tristian Sperry, and Nick Guida all had one goal against Bryant. Junior goalkeeper Jack Murphy played all 60 minutes against Bryant and allowed 6 goals for 6.0 goals against average. He was credited with 11 saves for a outstanding .647 save percentage and faced 43 shots. These are Charlie Cipriano numbers. No pressure on you Mr. Murphy!
Hard to prognosticate this game. Do not want to knock the level of Navy’s prior two opponents but the Stags are a definite step up in class for the Midshipmen. In talking with Coach Copelan a couple of weeks ago on what he expected against Navy, his observation that they are a well condition service academy team that plays tough hard nosed lacrosse. Rick Sowell who lead the St. John’s program is in his second year of coaching Navy so he is familiar with the Stags. The Stags need to play better in the face off circle, scoop up more ground balls and convert the extra man opportunities. Goalkeeper Murphy and the young defense played great on Saturday and needs another strong effort. Navy is averaging 15 goals per game this season so the Stags defense need an A plus effort on Tuesday. I fully expect Sam Snow to break out against the Midshipmen. He has a great compliment with Greenfield, McLinden, Warden, Sperry and Guida. Watch out for freshmen TJ Neubauer and Conor Dalton trying hard to get their first career Stags goals. Both Shawn Honovich and Marshall Johnson I expect to show some of their offensive fireworks while playing defensive middies. The weather is calling for 45 degrees and rain. I will be making the trek to Fairfield to see the season opener so my e-mail report on the final score will be delayed until I return to Westchester. The Stags web site does not show a live stats link but games in the past have been broadcast out on live stats. Here is the link to the Stags lax schedule. Click on the Navy game tomorrow around 3 PM if you want to follow the game on line.
Should you happen to be at the game, please look for me. Unless Will Mraz is out of town for his Major Gifts capacity for the University, I should be with him. Would like to identify all the Stags Lax Alumni at the game in my “Seen at the Game” segment in my post game report. GO STAGS!! Roger Yergeau ’73