To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-A very hard fought come from behind victory over a tough gritty Navy team by a score of 10-9 with Sam Snow scoring his fourth goal of the fourth period with four seconds left in the game. Think we should change the name of the team from the Fairfield Stags Laxmen to Fairfield “Cardiac Kids” Laxmen. This is the eight consecutive one goal game the Stags have won dating back to 2011. Snow is picking up where he left off in 2012 when he had six game winning goals.
It was rainy afternoon with the temperatures in the low 40s at Alumni Field with high snow banks all around. Don’t know how and when the baseball team will play as their field adjacent to Alumni Field, it is covered with LOTS of snow. Today belong to the goal keepers of both teams. The Stags’ Jack Murphy kept Fairfield in the game with key stops in the first half and big save with 47 seconds left in the game. Navy’s goal keeper Nolan Hickey (from Garden City, NY and Chaminade HS per our LI lax expert Joe Kern) not only played big but he really fills up the cage with his 6’7″ and 240 pound frame!
Freshman Paul Heller started at attack today with Tristian Sperry unable to make the start. Michael Roe is still battling injuries so Coach Copelan had Sophomore Lou DiGiacomo handled the face off duties today.
Navy controlled the first face off and both teams started the feeling out process in the first period. Both goal keepers had four save in the opening stanza and shut down the oppenent’s respective offenses. The Midshipmen took two penalties in the first quarter, one a cross check with 11:43 on the clock for a one minute penalty and a 30 second pushing foul at 7:55 but the Stags laxmen could not cash in on either penalty. Navy’s Pat Durkin scored an unassisted goal with 42 seconds left in the period to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Bryan Barry, a defensive middie, scored unassisted with 28 seconds left in the initial stanza off the controlled face off to tie the game I believe this is Barry’s first goal of his Stags career. Thus the first period ended in a 1-1 tie.
The game heated up in the second period. Stags win the opening face off and Freshman Paul Heller getting his first start at attack hits the post with 14:22 showing on the clock and Navy getting its third penalty of the day for pushing 5 seconds later. The Stags Extra Man Offense (EMO) was unable to cash in on this 30 second opportunity. Despite not being able to score with the extra man, the Fairfield offense has several great shots over the next few minutes and only to have the Navy goal keeper Nolan eats all those shots. With 11 minutes left in the second period, Jordan Greenfield hit the back of the nets with an unassisted goal to give the Stags a 2-1 edge. Fairfield’s Greg Perraut gets hit with a slashing penalty for a one minute foul with 8:22 left in the period. The Fairfield defense holds and turns Navy over and make a good clear. With 7:32 on the clock, Coach Copelan calls his second timeout in the half to set up the Stags offense. The offense responds and Nolan stops a Greenfield shot but Nick Guida is in front of the cage and grabs the rebound and gets it past Nolan for a goal for a 3-1 Fairfield lead ending a three goal run by the Stags with 7 minute to go in the period. Navy wins the face off and gets a goal with 38 seconds later to cut the lead to 3-2. Freshman TJ Neubauer gets his first career Stags goal with a laser shot on an assist from Super Sophomore Colin McLinden that the Navy’s Nolan had no chance of stopping with 5:26 left in the period to make a 4-2 ballgame. The teams trade shots and turnovers until Fairfield’s Toby Armour get assessed a slashing call 3:33 left in the half. Navy cashes in on the EMO chance in just 12 seconds to now make it a 4-3 game. Navy wins the face off after the goal but the Stags defense turns Navy over and Fairfield takes several shots but Nolan is up to the task of stopping the Fairfield offense. Navy clears the ball after a Nolan save with 1:06 remaining in the half and the Navy’s Coach Sowell calls a timeout to set up his offense with 45 seconds left. Navy’s Gabe Voumard gets his first of four goals on the day past the Stags keeper Murphy with 31 seconds remaining in the half to tie the game up at 4 all. Navy wins the face off and Murphy makes a save with one second left in the first half the almost got past him with Murphy clamping on the ball just at the goal line! That was a close call that went the Stags way! Period ends with teams all tied up at 4.
There was no scoring in the third period but lots of action and shots by both teams with Navy’s Nolan being credited with four saves and Fairfield’s Murphy getting two saves. The period saw 17 shots and just 8 turnovers for both teams. Fairfield’s EMO team had two chances in the period late in the stanza with a 1 minute unreliable call with 3:13 remaining and a 30 second call with 1:14 remaining. The period ends with a Navy clear and the Stags Eric Warden being called for off sides with 5 seconds left. Navy holds the ball and is awarded the ball to start the fourth period with the game still tied at 4 with three periods concluded.
The action packed fourth period starts with Navy having the ball and being man up for 25 seconds. Stags defense holds and Murphy makes a save just 7 seconds into the period but Navy gets the rebound and holds the ball. The teams are all even and Navy gets an assisted goal to make it a 5-4 game with 14:26 showing on the clock. Fairfield’s DiGiacomo wins the face off and Captain Marshall Johnson scoops up the ground ball and feeds Greenfield with an assist to Johnson in 7 seconds to tie the game at 5-5. Navy wins the face off and controls the ball for the next minute but the Stags defense creates a turnover. Sam Snow who has had a number of good looks during the game finally gets rewarded and scores a goal with an assist from Nick Guida for a 6-5 Fairfield lead and Navy gets called for another penalty for a second unreleasable offense when the goal was being scored. Can the Stags get that two goal lead? Fairfield’s DiGiacomo wins the face off and Coach Copelan calls his first time out in the half to set up the offense. The EMO unit is patient working the ball around when play resumes but Navy’s Nolan stops a Greenfield shot and clears the ball. The teams are back and forth and with Navy hitting a post and Navy’s Nolan stopping Snow again. Navy’s Gabe Voumard gets his second goal of the game unassisted to tie game at 6-6 with 9:21 left in the game. Navy takes a time out to regroup. On the ensuing face off, Navy wins the draw and controls the ball. With 8:46 left in the game, Navy’s Voumard scores an unassisted goal to put Navy in front by a 7-6 score. This time DiGiacomo wins the face off for Fairfield. Navy takes another illegal body check penalty at 8:39. The Stags take two shot in the EMO offense but Nolan makes a save on the second shot and starts a clear to kill the penalty. The Stags attackman Nick Guida creates a Navy turnover and Snow picks up the loose ground ball and passes to Greenfield who hits Eric Warden with a great pass and Warden scores at 7:07 to tie the game at 7-7. The Navy penalty had expired so the goal was scored with the teams at even strength. DiGiacomo wins the face off but Navy creates a Stags turnover. Navy’s Voumard shoots wide of the cage but Navy’s Tucker Hall backs up the play and starts the offense and hits Navy’s Sam Jones with a pass and Jones scores with 6:23 left in the game to put Navy ahead 8-7. The Stags DiGiacomo wins the face off but the Stags turnover the ball to Navy. Fairfield’s Toby Armour, the long pole defender who transferred in from John Hopkins, creates a Navy turnover and starts a clear. This turnover is huge as this prevents Navy from possibly getting a two goal lead. The Stags offense is clicking and Greenfield takes a shot that is saved by Navy’s Nolan but the rebound goes to Neubauer who restarts the Stags offense and Snow scores unassisted on a beautiful dodge move to tie the game at 8-8 with 5:04 showing on the clock. DiGiacomo is now hot in the face off circle and he wins the draw. Marshall Johnson scoops up the ground ball from the face off and passes Neubauer. TJ gets the ball to Snow who is now on fire and he scores to put the Stags up 9-8 with 3:56 left in the game. Navy wins the next face off and slows down their offense. The Mids take a shot and Fairfield’s Murphy makes a save but gives up the rebound. Navy grabs the ground ball and Stags defender Greg Perault gets a slashing call for a one minute penalty with 2:38 left in the game. Navy takes two shots with the extra man and Murphy makes one save and a second shot hits the post. Coach Copelan uses his final time out to settle down the defense with 93 seconds left in the game when the ball goes out of bound but in Navy’s favor. On the restart, Navy’s Voumard gets free and scores his fourth goal of the game and ties the game at 9-9 with 83 seconds left in the game. Navy wins the face off and starts their offense. One shot by Navy is high and the second shot is saved by Murphy with 47 seconds remaining in the game. Murphy calmly starts the clear and with just 4 seconds left in the game, Super Soph McLinden sees Greenfield who makes a perfect pass to Snow. Snow takes the pass from Greenfield and Sam sticks the ball into the net for another career game winning goal. Johnson takes the final face off and ties up the Navy face off man to kill the final 4 seconds and preserve the Stags victory.
With any victory, there are many stars for the Stags. The two biggest stars were Sam Snow who found the key to solving the huge Navy goal keeper Nolan in the fourth period to net four goals in the fourth period and scoring the last three Stags’ goals. Goal keeper Jack Murphy made key saves all game. He ended up with 14 saves and led the team with 7 ground balls. Jordan Greenfield scored two goals and two assists including the assist on the game winner, Freshman TJ Neubauer got a goal,an assist and four ground balls and Nick Guida got a goal and assist. On defense Toby Armour created four caused turnovers and fellow defender Greg Perraut got one caused turnover. Lou DiGiacomo who took over the face off duties in this game won 10 of the 21 face offs he took. Total team effort!!
Navy’s stars were the goal keeper Nolan who had 15 saves for the game and Gabe Voumard who scored four goals.
Navy won the ground ball game by a 39 to 35 margin while the Stags only had 12 turnovers versus 18 turnovers by Navy. The Stags had 12 caused turnovers on the day. The Stags were 0-7 on extra man offense chances.
Fairfield next travels to Chapel Hill, NC to take on University of North Carolina on Saturday February 23rd at 1 PM. UNC has a 1-1 record and were ranked #9/#12 in the polls last week. A pregame report should be completed by Thursday night for your review. Roger Yergeau ’73