To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-Under the lights, it is a cloudy and a raw 40 degree plus day at Alumni Field on the campus of Fairfield, the #13/#14 Stags were upset by the unranked Hofstra Pride by a 9-2 score.
The opening face off was won by the Pride and they held the ball for almost the first minute of the game. At 14:03, the Pride took a shot and Jack Murphy made the initial save and started the clear. The Stags work the ball around and get a 30 stall call at 12:35. Sam Snow takes a shot within the 30 second time period and the shot is wide. Stags recover the ball wide shot but turn the ball over to Hofstra. The Pride’s Drew Coholan scores the first goal of the game unassisted at 11:32 for a 1-0 score. Stags’ Michael Roe wins the face off and starts the offense. Hofstra takes a one minute illegal body check at 10:29 after a Eric Warden shot. With Coach Andy Copelan urging the extra man offense unit to move the ball quicker, Sam Snow finds Nick Guida who scores at 10:02 to tie the score at 1-1 for a man up goal. Hofstra wins the face off and the offense takes three shots of which the Stags’ Murphy makes two saves and the Pride hit a post. Fairfield’s Toby Armour picks up the ground ball and starts a clear that fails. The Pride takes a shot that Murphy saves. The rest of the period continues with both teams trading off shots and turnovers. Fairfield was unable to convert a 30 second man up opportunity at the 5:00. The period ends with the teams tied at 1-1.
Fairfield’s Roe wins the face off to start the second period. Fairfield controls the ball for the next three minutes and take six shots that are unable to find the back of the net. The Stags and the Pride trade turnovers and at the 10 minute mark, Fairfield’s offense takes control. A Stags shot is blocked and another shot hits the post. At the 9 minute mark, the Pride starts a clear and attackman Tristian Sperry is called for a slashing penalty for a one minute penalty at the 8:04 mark of the second period (to me it is a questionable call and as you know since I officiate I normally do not judge most calls) on the clear. The Pride’s leading scorer Torin Varn scores the man up goal with assist to take a 2-1 lead with 7:48 left in the first half. Fairfield wins the face off and controls the ball. Coach Copelan calls a time out with 6:17 remaining the period. The Stags do not get off a shot when the time out ends and turns the ball over with 5 minutes showing on the clock. The Pride’s Varn takes a wide shot followed by an unassisted goal by Hofstra’s Sam Llinares with 4:20 remaining in the half for a 3-1 lead. Hofstra wins the face off and takes a couple of wide shots over the next 100 seconds and the goal keeper Murphy gets a gound ball and starts the clear. The Stags offense works the ball around and takes one shot which is backed up by Fairfield. Coach Coplan uses his second time out to set up the offense with 1:43 left in the period. Out of the time out with the Fairfield’s offense being patient, the officials call a 30 second stall on the Stags with 51 seconds left in the half. Snow takes a wide shot and Hofstra clears and takes a shot with one second left that Murphy saves. Halftime score is 3-1.
Halftime observation-After a terrible first half, many of the parents and I feel that the Stags were are lucky to be down only by two goals and can get right back in the game. The Hofstra bench is fired up all first half and the Stags bench is quiet. Everyone expects Coach Copelan to get the troops fired up for the second half and solve the first half offensive woes.
Fairfield wins the opening second half face off but both teams take shots that the goal keepers are saving and turnovers are committed for the first 8 plus minutes of the third period. Hofstra took a one minute cross check penalty at the 9:37 mark of the period. The Stags’ EMO team comes out on the field and commits a turnover in the first 20 seconds of the man up. Hofstra just runs around the field after clearing the ball and kills that chance to half the lead. At 6:22 left in the period, Hofstra’s Brian von Bargen scores unassisted to push the Hofstra lead to 4-1. The Stags’s Roe wins the next face off but the offense commits a turnover after controlling the ball for a minute and does not get a shot off. Hofstra clears and the officials call a tripping penalty for one minute on Fairfield’s Greg Perraut at 5:17. Fairfield defense holds and Matt Rubetone picks up the loose ground ball, starts the clear and the Stags successfully kill this penalty. The Stags turn the ball over again after not taking any shots and the Pride’s Adrian Sorichetti hits the back of the net with an assist from Lance Yapor at 2:56 to push the lead to 5-1. The Pride wins the face off and probes offensively for a minute before calling a timeout with 1:54 left in the period. After the timeout, the Pride takes a shot and Murphy saves and starts the clear. On the clear, Hofstra’s Tyler Johnson makes a vicious hit and gets called for a cross checking at 1:16. After getting up from the hit, the Pride’s Johnson plays to his bench and gets to the sideline to enter the penalty box holding out his shirt. In my opinion, do not understand why the officials did not call at least one if not two unsportsmanlike penalties on Johnson. No need for that crap in the game of lacrosse. The Stags’ EMO unit hits for its second goal of the day with Jordan Greenfield getting the score with an assist from Sam Snow with 55 seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 5-2. A glimmer of hope on a gloomy day. The Stags’s Roe wins the face off. If Fairfield can get a goal before the end of the period, this should fire up the team. The offense works the ball for the next 30 seconds but again the Stags turn the ball over without taking a shot with 13 seconds left in the period. The Pride start a fast break clear and Hofstra’s John Reicherter puts the ball behind Murphy with 4 seconds left in the period for a 6-2 Hofstra lead. A dagger in the heart! Instead of going into the fourth behind by maybe two or three goals now the Stags need to overcome a 4 goal lead.
Hofstra wins the final period face off but turns the ball over right away but the Stags now fail to clear the ball. It is that kind of day for the Stags. Hofstra is content to play slow ball and take the 30 second stall calls for the first ten plus minutes of the final period. Hofstra takes three shots that do not hit net around the 7:30 mark of the 4th quarter. The Stags have an offensive flurry with three shots including one that hits the post around the 6 minute mark. Hofstra hits for a seventh goal on the day with 4:10 left in the game unassisted by Llinares. The Stags win the face off but turns the ball over with no shots. The Pride clears and the Stags are forced to play a swarming defense. The officials call a slashing penalty on the Stags Toby Armour at 2:46. Hofstra’s EMO team gets a goal from Yapor with an assist from Llinares for an 8-2 lead with 2:16 left in the game. On the score, the Stags Dan Niebler is hit with a one minute unnecssary roughness call and Hofstra is awarded the ball as the flag comes with ball being dead. At 1:36 in the game, Hofstra’s Varn gets a goal and an assist from Yapor. Now the lead is 9-2. Hofstra’s Coach Seth Tierney calls a time out. WHY??? Don’t think the apple falls from the tree from his uncle, Denver’s Bill Tierney. Sorry for my editorial comment. The Pride take the face off after the time out and play keep away. With 29 seconds left, Fairfield’s Lukacovic scoops up a loose ball and starts the final clear of the day. Stags take a couple of high and wide shots and with 9 seconds left Hofstra’s Mark Mullen takes a slashing call. With one tick left the clock, the Stags take a shot that is high. Final Hofstra 9 Fairfield.
The Stags were out shot 40-26 and both teams had ground balls. Michael Roe won 8 of 13 face offs at the X. Jack Murphy had 13 saves and two ground balls. The Pride’s goal keeper Chris Selva was credited with eight saves and got to six ground balls. The Stags had 16 turnovers of which 9 were caused by Hofstra versus only eight Pride turnovers and two caused by the Stags. The offensive leader for Fairfield was Sam Snow with two assists. Leading the Pride was Lance Yapor with one goal and two assists, Sam Llinares with two goals and one assist and Torin Varn with two goals.
The Stags next play at home on Saturday March 2nd on Alumni Field at 1 PM against the University of Maryland Baltimore County.