To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Fairfield Stags will play under the lights on Thursday March 14th at 7 PM in its ECAC Lacrosse League season opener against the newest member of the ECAC Lacrosse League, the University of Michigan Wolverines. Fairfield comes into the game with 3-3 overall record while Michigan has an overall record of 0-6 and 0-2 in the ECAC. Michigan joined the ranks of Division 1 Lacrosse last season and is playing its first season in the ECAC. The Wolverines were a very strong club team for many years including winning several National Club Championships. It is widely believed once the Michigan Athletic Machine is let loose on the sport of lacrosse, the Wolverines will enjoy many successful NCAA Division 1 seasons.
It has been a rough start to the 2013 season for Michigan. They opened the season at home against #15 ranked Penn State and lost by a 11-6 score. Michigan then traveled to Kentucky to play its first ECAC contest against Bellarmine University and lost this game by a 12-6 margin. The Wolverines then traveled to Baltimore take on the national powerhouse of Johns Hopkins and ended up on the short end of 17-8 score. Army then traveled to Ann Arbor and the Cadets won the game by a 12-1 score. In another non league contest, the Wolverines took on the High Point in North Carolina and lost a close one by a 13-10 score. Last Saturday, they played their second ECAC game and lost to Hobart by a 11-7 score.
Michigan started slow against Hobart. The Statesmen got a two goal lead over Michigan in the first quarter but the Wolverines got a goal to cut the lead to 2-1. Hobart lead 3-2 in the early second period and Michigan went into the halftime break down 4-2. Michigan came out strong in the third quarter with a three goal run to get 5-4 lead using two man up goals to get the lead with 12:04 on the clock. But Hobart then went on a 5 goal run to end the third period and start the fourth stanza. Wolverines got another man up goal with 4:07 left in the game to cut the lead to 9-6 but eventually losing to Hobart by a 11-7 final score. Sophomore Kevin Wylie made his Michigan debut in the Hobart game at the face off circle winning 11 of 22 draws.
The Wolverines have scored 38 goals in 2013 after taking 179 shots for a 6.33 goals scored per game with a shot percentage of .212. Their opponents have scored 76 goals off of 269 shots for 12.67 goals per game on a .283 shot percentage. Wolverines has been taking 29.8 shots per game and their opponents have taken 44.8 shots per game. Michigan has scored 19 goals with an assist and the opposition have scored 57 goals via the assist. Both Michigan and their opponents have both scored 19 times this season unassisted. Michigan is beating their opponents in the number of man up goals with the Wolverines getting 8 goals out of 28 attempts .296 conversion rate while their opponents have scored 6 man up goals out of 23 chances for a .286 conversion rate. Michigan’s opponents have scored 2 goals this year when the opponent was man down. Michigan has scored 11 goals in the fourth quarter and 10 goals in the second period. The first period has seen the Wolverines score 9 goals and 8 goals in the third period. Their opponents have scored 20 goals in both the second and fourth quarter. The first period has seen the opponents have scored 19 times and 17 times in the third period.
The Wolverines have gotten to 155 ground balls in 2013 and their opponents have gotten to 226 turnovers. Michigan have had 98 turnovers and their opponents turned the ball over 85 times. Michigan has created 47 caused turnovers and their opponents have turned Michigan over 38 times. The Wolverines have won 51 out of 136 face offs for a .375 winning otheir opponents have won 85 of 136 face offs for a .625 winning percentage. The Wolverines have been penalized 23 times this season and their opponents have had 28 flag downs.
Leading the Wolverines in scoring is Kyle Jackson with 9 goals and 6 assists for 15 points. Second in scoring is Mike Herandez with 9 points of which were five goals and four assists. David McCormack has six goals and one assist for seven points. Three players have five points are David Joseph, Thomas Paras and Peter Kraus. Gerald Logan has played 354 plus minutes in goal this season. He has allowed 75 goals with a 12.68 goals against average. Logan has made 102 saves and has a .576 save percentage. Dylan Westerhold has played five plus minutes in one game and allowed one goal.
Fairfield has scored 51 goals this year after taking 200 shot attempts for a 8.50 goals per game average and a .255 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 55 goals with the opposition has taken 234 shot attempts for a 9.17 goals per game average and a.235 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 33.3 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 39.0 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 28 goals via an assist and 23 unassisted goals while the opponents have 25 goals via the assist and 30 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted seven extra man goals this season going 7-28 this season for .250 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 7 goals in 21 attempts for a .333 conversion rate. The Stags went 3-9 with the extra man unit against Yale.
Fairfield has gotten to 180 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 217 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 91 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 87 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 40 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 54 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 47 of 125 attempts for a .376 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 78 times out of 125 chances for a .624 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .835 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .812 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 24 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 28 times.
The second and fourth periods have been the most successful for the Stags with 14 goals being scored. The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 13 times in the 2013 campaign and ten goals in the third period. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 21 goals and the second period with 14 goals. Opponents have scored 12 times in the third quarter and eight times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 12 goals and 5 assists for 17 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 13 goals and three assist for 16 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has four goals and eight assists for twelve points. Nick Guida also has eight points with six goals and two assists. Tristian Sperry now has 7 points with six goals and one assist. Super Frosh TJ Neubauer has so far four goals and two assists for six points. Marshall Johnson has five points with three goals and two assists along with Eric Warden who has one goal and four assists for five points. Jack Murphy has played all 360 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 55 goals for a 9.17 goals against average and getting 78 saves for a .586 save percentage. Murphy has faced 234 shots so far in this season.
What to expect in this game? I hate to say that I see a Fairfield blowout. The Wolverines have played tough against Hopkins for a half and only the High Point and Hobart games have been close. A game like this makes me uneasy. I am confident for a Stags win but got to feel playing at home under the lights should give the team an extra lift. Think Jordan Greenfield and Sam Snow should have multiple goals games. Expect Freshmen Conor Dalton and Paul Heller to have some playing time and get their first Stags career goals. I will be attending the game and will give you a final score report when I return from Fairfield. GO STAGS! Roger Yergeau ’73