To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The Stags (4-3) (1-0) outlasted the Michigan Wolverines (0-7) (0-3) on Thursday night under the lights on the Fairfield campus. It was a cold and windy night. The lights on the field are not that great and we hope that the new lacrosse stadium will be funded sometime soon. Fairfield scored three of the last four goals scored breaking a 7-7 tie with 4 minutes left in the third period.
Sophomore Lou DiGiacomo started the game taking the initial face off with Michigan’s Brad Lott in the face off circle. Lott wins the face off and gets to the ground ball and Michigan works the ball around the wheel. The Stags’ defense is playing aggressively and Junior Defender Greg Perraut creates a turnover 24 seconds into the game. Junior Goal Keeper Jack Murphy picks up the loose ground ball and starts the clear. Senior co-captain Sam Snow takes the first shot of the game and the Michigan Goal Keeper Gerald Logan makes a save. Freshman Midfielder Conor Dalton who got the start due to Frosh TJ Neubauer’s injury picks up the loose ground ball and makes a great pass to the cutting Junior Eric Warden who buries the shot for a 1-0 Fairfield leads with 13:15 showing on the clock. Dalton is credited with the assist and this is his first Fairfield point with many more to come in the next four years. Lott beats DiGiacomo on the face off but the Wolverines make a quick turnover. The Stags take the ball down the field but the Stags now have a turnover. Michigan clears and set up their offense. With 11:49 left in the period, Michigan’s David McCormack gets a goal with an assist from David Joseph to tie the game at 1-1. Michigan wins the third face off of the day and the Wolverines take a wide shot and then the Stags’ Murphy makes a good save. During the Michigan offense, the officials call a questionable cross check (sorry Steve-this crew had a bad night!!) on Junior D Middie Shawn Honovich. The Stags man down unit is keeps Michigan from getting a shot and with 20 seconds left the penalty, Michigan turns the ball over. The Stags clear the ball and kill the balance of the penalty while setting up their offense. Frosh Dalton dodges the Michigan defense and scores his first Stags goal unassisted with 9:04 in the period for a 2-1 Stags lead. A goal and an assist for Dalton in his first start just 6 minutes into the game. DiGiacomo wins the face off and Sophomore D Middie Bryan Barry picks up the loose ball and goes directly to the cage. The Michigan defense does not pick up Barry who fires a hard shot by the Michigan goal keeper 6 seconds after Dalton’s goal. Barry’s goal is unassisted. Fairfield now has a 3-1 lead. DiGiacomo wins the face off and the Stags set up their offense. Junior Attack Jordan Greenfield takes the ball to the cage and scores unassisted for a 4-1 Fairfield lead with with 7:34 remaining in the first period. The Wolveries coach calls a time out to break the Fairfield momentum. Michigan now goes on a three goal run over the next two periods. Michigan wins the face off coming out of the timeout. The two teams trade shots and turnovers over the next few minutes. With 2:37 left in the period, Coach Copelan calls a time out in an effort to get a last minute goal. On the restart the Stags misconnect on a pass and the Wolverines now have the ball and start their clear. Michigan’s Will Meter scores a goal with an assist from Charlie Keady with 1:56 on the clock for the first period to cut the Fairfield lead to 4-2. On the subsequent face off, Michigan’s Lott beats DiGiacomo and Lott picks up the ground ball. Lott runs down the field and hits McCormick with a pass and he scores in just 7 seven seconds. Lott is credited with an assist. Now the Stags only have a one goal lead-4-3. Michigan wins the face off via a violation on DiGiacomo. Michigan commits a quick turnover and the Stags clear. Sophomore Attack Tristian Sperry takes a shot that is saved by Michigan’s Logan and Sperry gets the rebound via a ground ball. When Sperry gets the ground ball, he is slashed by the Wolverine’s Keady and he receives a one minute penalty with 58 seonds left in the period. The Stags man up unit comes on the field and is on fire. Snow takes two wide shots with good backup. Greenfield takes a wide shot and the Stags retain the ball. Super Sophomore Colin McLindon takes a shot that is saved by Logan. Junior Attack Alex Cramer is getting a lot of playing time in this game for the first time this season gets the ground ball but a turnover is committed and the period ends with Michigan holding the ball. Since the penalty still has 2 seconds left on the clock, with Michigan holding the ball, the Wolverines will start the second period with ball near their crease. The Stags lead 4-3 at the end of the period.
The Wolverines start the second quarter outside the box goal line extended. The Stags’ offense is aggressively playing defense and creates a turnover but the offense turns the ball over back to Michigan. The Wolverines pick up the ground ball and Fairfield’s Barry is called for a one minute slashing penalty with 14:13 in the period. Michigan gets a free clear and starts their man up offense. Michigan gets only one wide shot off 27 seconds into the penalty. But a pushing penalty for 30 seconds is called on Senior Defender Matt Rubertone at 13:45. Now the Stags are down two men for 30 seconds. Michigan works the ball around the box defense and Peter Kraus ties the game at 4-4 with 13:13 remaining in the period. Mike Hernandez gets credited with an assist. The Stags’ DiGiacomo wins the face off and Johnson picks up the ground ball and starts the Stags offense. Both teams are playing strong defense for the next few minutes with the teams taking a few shots that do not score and have turnovers. At 8:46 on a Fairfield clear, the Wolverines are caught with too many men on the field and are assessed a 30 second technical penalty. (The officials were confused but finally got the call right. It was that kind of night for the officials). The Stags man up unit comes on the field shooting but Snow goes wide and Greenfield is stopped by Michigan’s Logan. Michigan clears to kill the penalty and takes the ball downfield. Their attack takes a shot that goes wide and a minute later Senior D Middie Gordie Wells creates a turnover. Murphy gets the ground ball and starts the clear. The Stags’ offense is patiently working the ball and at 5:03 Junior Attack Alex Creamer cuts and Johnson hits him in stride. Creamer gets his first goal of the 2013 season with Johnson getting the assist to put Fairfield back in the lead by a 5-4 score. DiGiacomo wins his second consecutive face off and Wells gets to the ground ball to set the Stags’ offense. With Stags’ offense working hard probing the Michigan defense, Snow (he can’t buy a goal tonight!) puts a shot on net but Michigan’s Logan makes the save. At 3:32, the Wolverines’ Charlie Keady is called for a pushing foul for a 30 second man up penalty for the Stags. The EMO unit works the ball around the wheel and Alex Cramer takes a wide shot at the end of the man up but Creamer is crosses checked by Michigan’s Rob Healy for a one minute penalty at 3:01 left in the period. Thus the man up unit remains on the field. The man up unit works the ball around for 30 seconds and Coach Copelan calls his second time out of the half at 2:29. Out of the timeout, the EMO unit works the ball around to Jordan Greenfield who takes a wide shot. The Stags back up the shot and Creamer gets the loose ground ball. He works his way around the crease and takes a shot that the Wolverines’ Logan saves. On the shot, Michigan’s Keady gets another penalty, this time a illegal body check that is unreleaseable for one minute at 1:51. Now the extra man unit gets into high gear. McLinden takes a shot that is blocked but Greenfield gets the ground ball and he feeds Snow whose shot is saved by Logan but he gives up the rebound. Snow gets the rebound and passes to Warden who gets his second goal of the night with Snow getting credited for the assist. Goal comes with 1:29 left in the half and the Stags now have a 6-4 lead. Since the goal was unreleasable, Fairfield still has an extra man for almost 40 seconds. DiGiacomo again wins the face off and Barry on the wing gets the ground ball. Michigan defends the rest of the penalty but the Stags keep the ball on offense. Snow takes another wide shot and the ball gets to Greenfield whose shot is blocked. Michigan clears and calls a time out with 27 seconds left in the half to set up the final shot of the period. After the timeout, the Stags defense plays tight and allows only a weak shot with no time on the clock that goes wide. Stags go into halftime with a 6-4 lead.
The third period face off is won by Michigan’s Lott and teammate Chase Brown gets the ground ball. The Michigan’s offense take a wide shot 15 seconds into the half and then with 14:12 showing on the clock the Wolverines’ Krause gets his second goal of the day unassisted. The Stags’ lead is cut to 6-5. Michigan wins the second face off of the second half and for the next 5 minutes the action is back and forth between the two teams. At 9:29 left in the quarter, Michigan makes a turnover and the Stags quickly capitalize on the mistake. Snow gets the ground ball and passes the ball to Sperry. Sperry feds the cutting Greenfield for a picture perfect goal at 9:25. Stags regain a two goal lead now by a 7-5 margin. Michigan comes right back by winning the face off and getting an unassisted goal by Hernandez cutting the lead to 7-6. Play continues for the next 5 minutes with both squads taking shots that do not find the back of the net and turnovers. With 5:44 remaining in the period, Fairfield’s Snow is called for a slashing penalty and is given a one minute penalty. Michigan’s man up unit has a quick turnover but the Stags turn the ball back over to the Wolverines. Michigan’s Hernandez gets his second assist of the day feeding Thomas Paras for a man up goal to tie the score at 7-7 with 4:55 remaining in the period. Michigan’s Lott wins the face off and Michigan goes on the attack. The Stags’ Junior defender Toby Armour causes a Michigan turnover and Perraut gets the loose ground ball and he is pushed by David Joseph of Michigan for a 30 second penalty. The Stags’ extra man unit gets one shot off by Snow which is saved by Logan. Warden gets to the ground ball and he is held by the Wolverines’s Sean Sutton for a 30 second penalty. McLindon takes a quick shot for the extra man team but Logan saves. Junior Attack Nick Guida gets the rebound ground ball. Guida passes to Snow who gets the ball to Greenfield who scores his third goal of the day. The man up unit has two goals on the day and breaks the tie to lead the game 8-7 with 3:39 left in the period. Snow may not be able to buy a goal but this is his second assist in the game and he has two ground balls to his credit. Michigan gets the face off and sets up their offense. Over the next 90 plus seconds, Michigan takes three wide shots but nothing on the cage. The officials have yet to call one shot warning the entire game. Think they want to get our of the cold and get home early. Yes Steve-they really had a bad night!! With 58 seconds left in the period, the Wolverines’ have a turnover but the Stags fail to clear. With 37 seconds left in the period, Fairfield has a turnover on the failed clear but Michigan can not get a shot before the period ends. Stags lead 8-7 with 15 minutes left in the game.
On the face off to start the fourth quarter , Fairfield’s Armour is called for a 30 second illegal procedure penalty. Michigan’s man up unit gets off one shot that Murphy saves. The Stags’ Perraut gets the ground ball and the Stags offense goes to work. Coach Copelan calls a time out with 13:16 left in the game. Out of the timeout, the Stags respond to Coach Copelan’s offensive play-making and Sperry scores unassisted with12:55 showing on the clock. Now the Stags push the lead back to two goals. Michigan wins the next face off and starts their offense. After working the ball around with no 30 second shot warning, the ball get loose and Michigan’s David Joseph picks up the loose ball and scores unassisted to cut the lead back to one goal, 9-8 at 11:56. Fairfield’s coaches now send out Freshman Pierce Hyldahl out to the the face off circle. He cleanly beats Michigan’s Lott and gets the ground ball he created to Snow. Snow goes to the cage and for the first time on the night, Snow’s shot finds the back of the net! Snow scored unassisted but Hyldahl’s face off win and getting the ground ball is HUGE! It only took the Stags 11 seconds to respond to the Michigan goal and the lead is back to two goals. Hyldahl takes the face off and again beats Michigan’s Lott. Both teams turn over the ball in the next minute and at 10:18 left in the game, Michigan’s Keady gets a one minute cross checking penalty that is unreleasable. This is the third personal foul by Keady during the contest. The Stags’ EMO takes the field but they turn the ball over but Michigan returns the favor and turns the ball over back to Fairfield. With only a few seconds left on the unreleasable penalty, the Stags can not get a shot off during the man up. With both teams at even strength, a Greenfield shot goes wide and the Wolverines clear the ball. A minute later, the Michigan offense turns the ball over and Fairfield’s Murphy gets the ground ball and starts the clear. Not content to hold the ball, the Fairfield offensive unit is shooting to make it a three goal lead. First, Warden’s shot is stopped by Logan but the Stags retain the ball. Snow shoots wide with seven minutes left in the game. Fifthteen seconds later Sperry’s shot goes wide and at 5:51 Snow’s shot is saved by Michigan’s Logan who starts a successful Wolverine lead. With 4:57 left on the clock, the Wolverine’s start shooting. Murphy makes the save on the first shot, the second shot goes wide and with 3:52 the next Michigan’s shot is blocked. Fairfield’s McLinden gets the ground ball but Michigan’s defense causes him to turn the ball over. Michigan settles its offense and they work the ball around for the next 45 seconds not having to worry about getting a 30 second shot warning and the Stags’ defense is preventing any shot attempts. At 2:46 remaining, Michigan’s offense starts shooting and Fairfield’s Murphy is up to the task. He saves the first shot from Michigan’s Meter but Michigan keeps the ball. Meter’s second shot at 2:19 is saved but Michigan still has the ball. At 1:39, Meter shoots again and Murphy stops him again. Michigan still has the ball as the Stags can not get the ball to clear the defensive zone. With 57 seconds left, Meter shoots high and in the scramble for the ball, Meter gets the ground ball. Meter again shoots with 37 seconds left but Murphy makes the big save. On Meter’s shot he is crossed checked by Marshall. The Stags will be a man down for the rest of the game if they can stop Michigan from scoring. The Stags man down defense works hard and Michigan turns the ball over with 22 seconds left. Murphy picks up the ground ball and just runs around behind his cage to kill the clock knowing that he did not have to get the ball in the offensive zone goal box in the allotted 30 seconds rule for college lacrosse. A hard fought tough victory with the Stags winning by a 10-8 margin.
Stars of the Game: Eric Greenfield continues his great 2013 season with three goals and getting four ground balls. This shows he is not only shooting the ball but doing the little things to contribute to the Stags’s victory. Eric Warden got two key goals off of three shots including the first goal of the game and a caused turnover. Sam Snow despite his tough shooting night got a goal, two assist and two ground balls showing his overall game. Tristian Sperry had a goal, an assist and also had four ground balls. Great game for Tristian. Greg Perraut has three ground balls and Senior Defender Dan Niebler in his first start this season had a strong game and got credited with one ground ball. Goalkeeper Jack Murphy had 10 saves, six ground balls and one caused turnover. In limited action but with a huge face off win coming off the bench was Pierce Hyldahl. He gets the big star of the game notice. Michigan’s stars were David McCormick with two goals, Peter Kraus with two goals and Mike Hernandez with one goal and two assists. Michigan’s goalkeeper Gerald Logan had an outstanding night with 17 saves and four ground balls. He prevented the Stags from running away with the game.
Fairfield outshot Michigan by a 40 to 31 margin. The Stags won the ground ball game by a getting to 36 gbs versus 30 gbs for the Wolverines. Michigan has 23 turnovers but the Stags only turned the ball over 16 times. Both teams got two extra man goals with Michigan having five chances and Fairfield having 9 opportunities. Michigan won the face off war getting 13 wins out of 20 chances and the Stags getting 7 face off wins in the 20 game face offs.
The Stags home stand continues on Tuesday afternoon at 4 PM when Quinnipiac College from Hamden, CT comes to Alumni Field. Quinnipiac lost to intrastate rival Hartford on Saturday but Bobcats out of the North Eastern Conference always gives the Stags a tough contest. Roger Yergeau ’73