To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-On a chilly 39 degree overcast day (where was the 45 plus degrees and sunny skies?) at Alumni Field, the Fairfield Stags unleashed its firepower and snapped a two game losing streak beating the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers by a 14 to 9 score. The Stags were lead by Junior attack man Jordan Greenfield who continues his breakout season with 4 goals and two assists and Junior goal keeper Jack Murphy who was credited with a career high 17 saves with 10 saves in the second half.
The initial face off was won by the Stags’ Michael Roe and the Fairfield offense sets up and is probing the UMBC defense. The officials call the 30 second warning at the 13:46 mark forcing the Stags to go to the cage. Sophomore Tristian Sperry takes a high shot that is backed up and the Super Sophomore Colin McLinden puts the Stags up 1-0 with an assist from Jordan Greenfield with 12:46 left in the first period. UMBC wins the second face off of the day and sets its offense. Two shots from the Retrievers are saved by Fairfield’s Murphy. One shot was taken by Zach Linkous who is described by one Stags parent who saw him play in high school that Zack comes off the bus shooting. Murphy after the second save starts the clear which is good. For the next three minutes the teams trade shots and turnovers. At 9:31 the Retrievers fail to complete a clear and the Stags get to the loose ground ball. Freshman TJ Neubauer shots wide. Greenfield, who is having a stellar season, gets the ball and fires it past the UMBC’s goal keeper Adam Cohen with 8:08 on the clock for the first period to put the Stags ahead 2-0. Jordan’s goal is unassisted. The Stags’ Roe commits a violation on the face off and the UMBC offense takes two wide shots. Sophomore midfielder Bryan Berry who is improving game by game gets to a ground ball and starts the Fairfield clear by using a give and go with Sperry. Berry takes the return pass and scores with Sperry getting the assist for a 3-0 Stags lead with 7:06 left in the period. UMBC now goes on its own three goal run. After getting another face off win via a violation, the Retrievers set up their offense and at 5:57, David Campbell scores unassisted to cut the Stags lead to 3-1. The Stags’s Roe wins the next face off but Fairfield’s midfield commits a quick turnover and UMBC’s shooter Linkous scores with an assist from Campbell with 5:12 left in the period, making it a 3-2 game. Roe wins the subsequent face off and a Stags shot is blocked and UMBC successfully clears the ball. After a wide shot, UMBC’s Ty Kashur ties the game unassisted with 3:27 to play in the first quarter. UMBC has the momentum and wins the face off and takes two shots but Murphy is up to the task, making saves on both shots. Fairfield’s Barry gets another ground ball and starts a good clear for Fairfield but the Stags commit a turnover. UMBC now has the ball with 1:25 remaining in the period and takes two shots. The first shot goes wide and the second shot hits the post. Senior co-captain Marshall Johnson gets the ground ball and quickly gets the ball downfield and the offense works it around to Sperry who dodges and puts the ball in the back of the net with 4 seconds left in the period putting the Stags ahead 4-3. Sperry’s goal is unassisted and starts a 6 goal run by Fairfield over a three period span.
The second period completely belongs to the Stags. Roe wins the face off and Fairfield starts on offense. The first six minutes sees both teams taking shots and turnovers. With 10:02 left in the period, the Stags offense gets into high gear. Greenfield takes a wide shot and seconds later the officials hit the Stags with a 30 second warning. Junior Eric Warden, who does a lot of the heavy lifting for the Stags offense, hits the post but Greenfield gets the ground ball and scores his second goal of the day unassisted. Fairfield is now in the lead by 5-3 with 9:13 remaining in the period with Greenfield on fire. Thirteen seconds later after the Stags’ Roe wins the face off, his wing Johnson picks up the ground ball and he drives the cage and puts it past UMBC’s Cohen for a 6-3 Stags lead. A Fairfield parent comments on the unassisted goal, wish they were all that easy! The Retrievers coach takes a timeout to cool off the Stags and to regroup his team. After the timeout, UMBC wins the face off but commits a turnover within a minute. For the next several minutes action is back and forth between the two teams. With 6:40 left in the period, Warden gets a turnover and Coach Copelan calls his first of two timeouts in the half seven seconds later. The Stags come out shooting after the time out. McLinden shoots high, Greenfield hits a post and gets slashed while shooting. UMBC gets a one minute penalty at 5:31 and the Stags’ man up unit comes on the field. Fairfield passes the ball around the wheel and a pass gets tipped out of bounds by UMBC except the officials miss the call and award the ball to the Retrievers while the Stags coaches are protesting the call and all the Stags’ parents are groaning. However, the Stags extra man unit now plays great defense and forces the UMBC player on the restart out of bounds. On Fairfield’s restart, Greenfield finds Senior co-captain Sam Snow who puts in his first goal of the day with 2 seconds left in the UMBC penalty for an EMO goal at 4:35 left in the period. Stags now lead by a 7-3 score. Fairfield’s Roe wins the face off and Barry gets the loose ground ball and sets up the Fairfield offense. The Stags are patient now with a 4 goal lead and keep trying to find weak spots in the UMBC defense. With 3:14 left in the half, TJ Neubauer gets a pass from McLinden and TJ fires a hard shot into the goal for a 8-3 Stags lead. I have been debating the last couple of games about naming TJ the 2013 Super Freshman of the team. What the heck! He gets the title and I fully expect a lot more goals off his stick in the next four seasons. UMBC wins the face off and starts it offense. The Stags defense creates a turnover with Senior middie Gordie Wells getting to the ground ball and making a good clear. Sophomore Cameron Parker gets his first action of the season and turns the ball over to UMBC but good defense by Parker disrupts the clear and the Stags again have the ball with 1:47 minutes left in the half. Coach Copelan uses his second timeout to set up a last minute shot. McLinden gets the shot off with 24 seconds remaining but UMBC’s Cohen makes the save and start the clear. The Fairfield defense of Toby Armour, Greg Perraut and Tom Lukacovic are up to the task and Murphy saves a last second shot by UMBC to go into halftime with a 8-3 lead and on a 5 goal run.
Michael Roe wins the second half face off and gets the ground ball. With a five goal lead the Stags offense is being deliberate and trying to find holes in the Retrievers’ defense. The officials think the Stags are not going to the cage and assess a 30 second warning at 13:54. Eight seconds later Sperry takes a wide shot. Greenfield backs up the wide shot and immediately goes to the goal and gets his hat trick unassisted with 13:30 in the period. Stags now lead 9-3 and completes its 6 goal run and Jordan is not content with his hat trick. For next three plus minutes the teams play back and forth. With 9:20 left in the period, three Stags surround an offensive UMBC player and flags fly all over the field. Thought Fairfield would be down two men but only Armour gets penalized. The officials assess a one minute slashing call and a one minute cross check on Toby. The man down defense comes out goes to defend a two minute penalty. UMBC takes two shots with a man up and both shots go wide. Murphy picks up the ground ball and gets it to Junior Shawn Honovich who is probably the fastest Stag and he sprints the ball down the field with the ball. Shawn instead of taking the ball behind the cage and killing the balance of two minute penalty, he takes a hard shot but UMBC’S Cohen makes the save and starts the clear. With 8:10 left in the period, Greenfield gets flagged for a one minute slashing call. Now the Stags are down two men for about 40 seconds. The Retrievers take advantage and UMBC’s Linkous gets it past Murphy to cut the lead to 9-4. UMBC’s Joe Lustgarten is credited with an assist and the goal is scored at 7:48. UMBC wins the face off and takes a shot one minute later and Murphy makes the save and clears the ball. Greenfield takes a shot with 6:04 on the clock and UMBC’s Cohen makes the save and starts the clear. At 5:13 of the period, UMBC’s Conor Finch gets his first goal of the day unassisted cutting the Fairfield lead to 9-5. UMBC wins the face off with Fairfield’s Sophomore Lou DiGiacomo taking over the face off duties from Roe. The Retrievers turn the ball over and with 5 minutes remaining the period, Sophomore Defender Thomas Lukacovic gets to the ground ball and heads downfield. It is a long pole defender’s constant daydream to take the ball down the field and have the long pole beat the goal keeper. However, Thomas’ daydream is foiled when his shot is blocked. Stags retain the ball and move it around while Lukacovic heads back to the defensive zone. Thirty seconds after Thomas’ shot, Warden shoots wide but the Stags back up is there. The offense continues to work the ball around, and is rewarded when McLinden hits Sperry with a pass who puts it home for the 10th goal of the day for a 10-5 lead. Sperry’s assisted goal from McLinden comes with 3:49 on the clock. Roe is now back in the face off circle but UMBC’s Phil Poe wins the face and picks up the ground ball. UMBC’s Scott Jones take a quick shot but Murphy makes the save and get the clear stared successfully. The Stags offense wants another goal. Johnson takes a shot that is blocked but Jordan Greenfield gets to the ground ball. Jordan takes a quick shot but UMBC’s Cohen makes the save and gives up the rebound. Snow gets the ground ball and restarts the offense. The two Stags captains combine for the 11th goal of the day with Johnson getting the assist with a pass to Snow for his second goal of the game. Now Fairfield leads 11-5 with just 2:37 left in the third period. Fairfield’s Roe wins the face off on a UMBC violation and 30 seconds later Neubauer hits the post but he gets his own ground ball. He passes to Warden who finds Greenfield for a 12-5 Fairfield lead. Jordan’s fourth goal of the day comes with 1:34 left in the period. UMBC’s Poe beats Roe on the face off but the Retrievers can get one shot off before the period ends.
The fourth quarter starts with DiGiacomo facing UMBC’s Poe in the face off circle with Poe controlling the ball. UMBC’s offense goes to work and the Retrievers Linkous takes a shot that Murphy saves but Linkous scores after getting a pass from Conor Finch who got the rebound to cut the Fairfield lead to 12-6 with still 14:11 left in the game. DiGiacomo wins his first face off of the afternoon and McLinden gets the ground ball. Warden takes a wide shot 45 seconds later. With the Stags moving the ball around, McLinden gets a ground ball and drives to the cage and puts a shot home unassisted. Fairfield now leads 13-6 with 13:05 showing on the clock. DiGiacomo beats Poe in the face off circle again with Johnson who is on the wing getting the ground ball. With Stags content to move the ball around, Sophomore Nick Guida takes a wide shot with 11:56 on the clock but the Stags back up is there and with 11:30 to play in the game, Snow gets his hat trick with Sophomore Drew Federico getting the assist for a 14-6 Fairfield lead. This time Poe beats DiGiacomo in the face off X due to a violation. UMBC’s Conor Finch gets to a ground ball and scores to cut the Fairfield lead to 14-7. DiGiacomo again makes a violation at the face off circle and UMBC takes a quick shot that Murphy saves. The Stags clear is good but the Fairfield attack gives up a turnover and UMBC takes the ball into the offensive zone. The Retrievers Nat Lewnes gets his only goal of the game unassisted. Stags now lead with 14-8 with 8:31 still to be played. Coach Copelan to break the momentum of the Retrievers by calling a timeout. After the time out, Poe controls the face off. For the next five minutes, both teams’ offenses take shots and the defenses create turnovers. Stags turnover the ball with 3:04 left in the game, UMBC clears and Finch gets the final goal of the day for his hat trick unassisted to make it a 14-9 game. The Retrievers win the face off and their coach calls a timeout. On the start of action after the timeout, the Stags’ Barry creates a UMBC turnover and when he picks up the ground ball he starts a successful clear. With 1:34 showing on the clock, McLinden hits a post and UMBC’s coach calls his final timeout. The Retrievers take a couple of wide shots on the restart but the Stags’ Wells creates another UMBC turnover, recovers the loose ground ball and carries the ball downfield to help ice the game. The only bad news of the day was emerging star defender Armour had to be carried off the field in the final minute of the game with what looks to be a sprained ankle. Further update later this week. Not only is Toby playing great defense, Coach Copelan had Armour playing on the wing for several face offs.
Who is going to get the star of the day for the Stags? We have lots of stars on this overall good victory. Leading the Stags with his six points on the day with four goals is Jordan Greenfield. He continues to lead the team in scoring and gets better every game. Goal keeper Jack Murphy not only got his career high 17 saves but also had 3 ground balls and the Stags were 20 of 21 in clears. Sam Snow had a “quiet’ hat trick while Super Soph Colin McLinden had four points, two goals and two assists. McLinden’s fellow classmate Tristian Sperry recorded two goals and one assist. Another sophomore Brian Berry came up up with 8 ground balls and one caused turnover. Berry is quietly leading the second midfield line and playing short stick D middie and becoming a key player for the Stags. The defense of Perraut, Armour, Lukacovic and Dan Niebler all had strong games on Saturday.
The stars for UMBC were the face off specialist Phil Poe with 8 ground balls and winning 16 of 27 face offs. Conor Finch had three goals and one assist and Zach Linkous also recorded onthree goals.
UMBC out shot the Stags by a 41 to 40 margin and the Stags’ Murphy had 17 saves versus UMBC’s Cohen who had 8 saves. Fairfield won the ground ball war by a 36 to 32 advantage. Both teams had one extra man opportunity and converted. Fairfield had 13 turnovers versus 12 for UMBC. The Retrievers won the face off battle by taking 16 of the 27 face offs. The Stags had the advantage in the clears with Fairfield being successful 20 out of 21 times and UMBC had 12 good clears out of 15 chances.
Seen in the Stands-Missing from the first two 2013 post game reports as not many Stags notables were at the Navy and Hofstra games. On Saturday, Board of Trustee Chairman Bill Atwell P ’09 took in the action. Bill’s son Chris was an outstanding defender for the Stags. Coach Copelan’s parents made the trip from the Rochester area and were in the company of Andy’s wife Alaina. Trustee Brian Hull, a former player and president of the Lax Club came from Long Island to visit his son who is the current president of the Fairfield Club Lacrosse team. Finally, honorary Founder Bob Cyper ventured up the road from Rye, NY to see the Stags play. Bob usually takes in three or four home games a year.
Special notation-The Stags’ English soccer players and their fans made their 2013 first appearance. They added a “special’ flavor to the game with their unique cheers and “think” part of their enthusiasm is fueled by liquid breakfasts.
The Stags will be on the road on Saturday March 9th. They have a contest with the Yale Bulldogs in New Haven, CT at 1 PM. Yale was the Ivy League Champions in 2012 and played well in the NCAA Tournament last spring. Roger Yergeau ’73