To the Founders and Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse-The men’s lacrosse team for Fairfield University Stags continue their recent home stand with a game on Tuesday March 19th at 4 PM on Alumni Field. The Stags will play intrastate rival, Quinnipiac College Bobcats in a renewal of this annual battle. Fairfield comes into the game with a 4-3 record and the Bobcats currently sport a 3-2 mark for the 2013 season. This game will be the last non ECAC Lacrosse League Conference game for Fairfield for 2013. Quinnipiac’s Head Coach Eric Fekete was a former Stags assistant coach when the Stags first started its Division 1 Program a number of years ago and he would love for his current team to beat his former team.
The Bobcats had its first game at home against Dartmounth cancelled due to the February snow storm. They opened at Brown and beat the Ivy League opponent by a 9-7 score. Quinnipiac next traveled to Detroit and played Detroit Mercy and came home with a 12-10 victory. The final road game to start the season was at Burlington, Vermont with the Bobcats beating Vermont Catamounts by a 10-6 margin to open their season with a 3-0 mark. Providence College traveled to Hamden, CT for the Bobcats home opener on March 12th. The Friars topped Quinnipiac by a one goal margin with the final score of 13-12. The University of Hartford made the trip down I91 to play Quinnipiac’s second home game of the season. Hartford went home with a 11-10 victory over the Bobcats. Junior Goal Keeper Gil Conners for Quinnipiac had a sensational day making 20 saves while facing 31 shots. He stopped five goals in the first and second periods and stopped seven shots in the fourth period while getting to eight ground balls. Neither team had more than a two goal lead with Hartford going up 5-3 at the 11:08 mark of the second quarter. Quinnipiac got two straight goals to tie the game at 5-5 with both teams going to the locker room for half time. The Bobcats scored first in the third quarter and the teams traded goals going into the fourth period. With the game tied at 9-9, the Hawks scored two straight goals to get some separation between the two team for a 11-9 score. The Bobcats scored a goal at 2:43 but could not score the tying goal despite two shots that went wide in the last 30 seconds of the game.
Quinnipiac’s Sports Information Office does not produce a lot of their oppenent’s statistics. The Bobcats have scored 53 goals this season for a 10.6 goals per game average with 32.8 shots being taken by the Bobcats. The opponents have scored 47 goals this year for a 9.40 goals against average. The Bobcats have taken 164 shots this year. Quinnipiac has scored 34 goals with the assist and 19 goals unassisted. Their man up unit has scored 6 goals in 2013 out of 17 chances with a 35.3% conversion rate. Quinnipiac has scored two man down goals.
The Bobcats have gotten to 175 ground balls. Quinnipiac has turned the ball over 93 times and have created 53 caused turnovers. Their face off unit has won 60 out of 118 chances for a .508 winning percentage. The Bobcats have successfully completed .846 of their clears.
The leading scorer for the Bobcats is Michael Saql with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points. Basil Kostaras has 12 points with 9 goals and 3 assists. Brendan Wilbur has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 2013. Dylan Webster has six goals and three assists for 9 points and Jay Binkowski has three goals and two assists for five points. Gil Conners has played all 300 minutes in the goal in 2013 for Quinnipiac. He has allowed 47 goals with a 9.4 goals against average. He has 71 saves this season with a 60.2 save percentage.
Fairfield has scored 61 goals this year after taking 240 shot attempts for a 8.71 goals per game average and a .254 shot percentage. Their opponents have scored 63 goals with the opposition has taken 265 shot attempts for a 9.00 goals per game average and a.238 shot percentage. Fairfield has taken 34.3 shots per game and the opponents are averaging 37.9 shots per game. The Stags have gotten 33 goals via an assist and 28 unassisted goals while the opponents have 30 goals via the assist and 33 unassisted goals. Fairfield have converted nine extra man goals this season going 9-37this season for .243 conversion rate while the opponents have scored 9 goals in 26 attempts for a .346 conversion rate.
Fairfield has gotten to 216 ground balls and the opponents have scooped up 247 ground balls. The Stags have turned the ball over 107 times this year while the opponents are turning the ball over 110 times. Fairfield’s defense has caused 49 turnovers this season and the opponents have caused the Stags to turn the ball over 63 times. In the face off circle, Fairfield has won 54 of 145 attempts for a .372 winning percentage and the opponents have been successful 91 times out of 145 chances for a .628 winning percentage. The Stags have been successful on .825 percentage of their clears and the opposition has cleared the ball with a .810 percentage. Fairfield has been penalized 30 times this season and the opponents have been flagged 36 times.
The opening stanza has seen Fairfield score 17 times in the 2013 campaign. The second and fourth periods has seen the Stags hit the back of the net with 16 goals being scored. Fairfield’s least productive period had been the third period with 12 goals being scored. The opponents best scoring period is the final quarter with 22 goals. Opponents have scored 15 times in both the second and third quarters. The opponents have scored 11 times in the first period.
Leading the Stags in scoring are Jordan Greenfield with 15 goals and 5 assists for 20 points and Sam Snow is second on the team with 14 goals and five assists for 19 points. Super Soph Colin McLinden has four goals and eight assists for twelve points. Tristian Sperry now has 9 points with seven goals and two assists. Nick Guida has eight points with six goals and two assists. Eric Warden has three goals and four assists for seven points.Super Frosh TJ Neubauer has so far four goals and two assists for six points along with Marshall Johnson has six points with three goals and three assists. Jack Murphy has played all 420 minutes in goal this year. He has allowed 63 goals for a 9.00 goals against average and getting 88 saves for a .583 save percentage. Murphy has faced 265 shots so far in this season.
What to expect for this game: Hard to get a feel for this game. Looked at the Hartford schedule to see if there are any common opponents and came away with nothing. The Stags lead the series between the schools with a 3-1 edge. Fairfield won at Hamden, CT last year by a 9-6 score for the second consecutive win in the series. Both Quinnipiac and Fairfield are in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. The Bobcats were ranked second last week and Fairfield was ranked fifth. The Stags are 1-1 in NEILA games beating Bryant and losing to Yale. On the surface, looks like if you stop the three top scorers for Quinnipiac, you stop their offense. Thus the Defense will have to play tough against Sagl, Webster (who also takes the majority of the face offs) and Kostaras. We need Sam Snow to find the back of the net on Tuesday. The extra man unit needs to increase its conversion rate. Face offs are critical and have to start winning 50% or better from the circle. The only three games the Stags have lost were to all nationally ranked teams. Quinnipiac has not played any nationally ranked teams. Thus the Bobcats are playing a step up coming to Fairfield. But the Bobcats have won all three of their road games and have had two very straight tough losses. They are a pesky team. But Coach Copelan teams have a stellar record over the last five years in close games. They are 27-12 in games decided by two or less goals in the last five years. I predict that Snow will find the range on Tuesday, Greenfield will continue his scoring run, and Colin McLindon and Tristian Sperry to have breakout games. The Stags have limited their turnovers in 2013 and I think the defense unit is maturing anchored by the fine play of Jack Murphy in goal. No predictions on the final score but I think this will be a close game with the Stags prevailing. I will be at the game and will send out the final score when I return home. GO STAGS!! Roger Yergeau ’73