To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse- On Tuesday February 26th at 4 PM, the Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse team returns home to play the Hofstra Pride in a non league contest on Alumni Field. Fairfield is currently ranked #13/#14 in the National polls taken on Monday February 25th and comes off a road loss by a 10-9 score against the #9/#12 ranked University of North Carolina. The Stags have a 2-1 overall record for the 2013 campaign. Hofstra comes into the game unranked but receiving votes in both National Polls with a 1-1 overall record having lost to #13 ranked Princeton University by a 10-7 score. Last season at Hofstra, the Pride and Stags played to a classic three OT game with the Stags winning by a 10-9 score. This will be the fourth overall meeting between the Pride and the Stags with the Pride leading the series dating back to 2002 and resumed in 2011 by a 2-1 margin.
The Pride opened their season at home on February 16th with a 14-9 victory over Sacred Heart (our Fairfield neighbor). Hofstra played on Saturday against the Tigers of Princeton. Princeton scored first and the Pride answered with three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. Princeton closed out the first period with a score to make the score to 3-2. This goal started a five goal run by the Tigers. In the second period, Princeton scored four goals and shut out the Pride to lead the game by a 6-3 score. Hofstra made a run at Princeton scoring three of the next four goals. Hofstra scored first, Princeton answered and Hofstra got the next two goals to be down 7-6 at the end of the third period. Princeton scores the only man-up goal of the day and the next goal to make it a 9-6 game. The Pride get one back to cut the lead to 9-7 but the Tigers responded within 9 seconds of the Pride’s goal to make the final score 10-7. Junior Torin Vam scored a game high four goals to lead the Pride.
Hofstra has scored 21 goals off of 76 shot attempts for a 10.5 goals scored per game with a .276 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 19 goals out of 70 shot attempts for a 9.50 goals scored per game with a .271 shot percentage. Hofstra is averaging 38 shots per game while their opponents have been averaging 35 shots per game. The Pride have scored 10 goals with assists and 11 goals unassisted. Their opponents have 11 assisted goals and 8 unassisted goals. Hofstra’s man up unit has scored four times this year out of 10 attempts for a.400 conversion rate. Their opponents have been held to two man up goals out of 10 attempts for a .200 conversion rate.
The Pride has gotten to 59 ground balls while the opposition has scooped up 68 ground balls. Hofstra has turned the ball over 29 times while their opponents have turned the ball over 27 times. They have 7 caused turnovers and the opposition has been credited with causing Hofstra to turn the ball over 14 times. In the face off circle, Hofstra has won 20 of 43 attempts for a .465 winning percentage and the opposition has 23 victories in the face off circle off of 43 attempts for a .535 conversion rate. The Pride are clearing the ball with a .818 percent efficiency while the opponents have been successful clearing the ball with a .917 percentage. Hofstra and their opponents have both received 10 penalties this season.
Hofstra has been starting out fast getting 8 goals in the first period followed by scoring 5 goals in the second quarter. In the third and fourth quarter, the Pride has scored a total of 4 goals this year in each of the periods. The opponents have closed games with 6 goals in the fourth quarter and five goals in the second period. The opposition have also scored 4 goals in both the first and third periods.
Torin Van leads the Pride in scoring and points with 9 goals and no assists. Sam Lilmares has five goals and three assists for 8 points and Adrian Sorichetti has one goal and three assist for four points. Lance Yapor has three points with one goal and two assists while Mike Malave has two goals for the season. Chris Selva has played 119 minutes of the 120 minutes played in goal allowing 19 goals for a 9.50 goals against average. He has been credited with 20 saves and has faced 70 shots.
The Stags are coming off a very tough loss against UNC by a 10-9 score. Fairfield has scored 27 goal this year after taking 102 shot attempts for a 9.0 goals per game average and a .265 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 25 goals with the opposition has taken 121 shot attempts for a 8.33 goals per game average and a.207 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 34 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 40.3 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 14 goals via an assist and 13 unassisted goals while the opponents have 11 goals via the assist and 14 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted only one extra man goal this season going 1-9 this season for .077 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 2 goals in 12 attempts for a .167 conversion rate. The good news is the defensive man down unit is doing a great job and the offensive extra man unit needs to start converting at a higher rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 92 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 119 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 49 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 52 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 26 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 32 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 22 of 61 attempts for a .361 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 39 times out of 61 chances for a .639 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .800 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .827 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 12 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 13 times.
The fourth period has been the most successful for the Stags with 11 goals being scored and 8 goals in the second quarter. The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score five times in the 2013 campaign and three goals in the third period. The opponents best scoring period is also the final quarter with 10 goals and the second period with 7 goals. Opponents have scored five times in the third quarter and three time in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring is Jordan Greenfield with 7 goals and 2 assists for 9 points. Sam Snow is second on the team in scoring with 7 goals and one assist for 8 points while Super Soph Colin McLinden has one goal and five assists for six points. Nick Guida now has five points with four goals and one assist and Frosh TJ Neubauer has so far two goal and two assists for four points. In a couple of more games, he could be named the Super Freshman of the Year. Tristian Sperry who returned to action on Saturday has three goals for three points for the year along with Eric Warden who has one goal and two assists. Jack Murphy has played all 180 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 25 goals for a 8.33 goals against average and getting 39 saves for a .609 save percentage. Murphy has faced 121 shots so far in this season. Murphy earned the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week Award for the first two weeks of the season.
What to expect from this game? Both teams come into the game with a loss against a higher ranked opponent. I fully expect Hofstra to come in looking to revenge the triple OT loss from last season. The Stags will need to play tough defense on Torin Vam who scored four goals on Saturday and five goals in their season opener. The face off circle should be evenly matched but hopefully Michael Roe is getting healthier and sharper after Saturday’s game. The Pride are averaging 6 penalties a game versus Fairfield’s three plus flags per game. The Pride was shut out on the man up offense on Saturday while getting four man up goals against Sacred Heart. The Stags finally got one extra man goal against UNC for the season. The Stags’ EMO team really needs to step up the pace for the Stags if we continue to play these tough one and two goal differential games. The Stags need to clear the ball at a higher efficiency rate as you can not give up the ball in the defensive zone. Would also like to see the Stags play tighter defense in the fourth quarter to close out games. I expect another hard fought game between two teams that are closely matched. The Stags with its firepower from lots of sources should earn the home victory on Tuesday afternoon. Roger Yergeau ’73