Courtesy: Road Win Photos/Brian McWalters

No. 20 Stags Fall in Season Opener at Richmond

Courtesy: Fairfield University
February 11, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team dropped a 15-3 decision to host Richmond in its 2017 season opener this afternoon. Travis Ford, Colin Burke and Nico Panepinto had the Stags’ trio of goals, while Charlie Horning and Dylan Beckwith each handed out an assist for the visitors.

Fairfield (0-1) came into the contest ranked No. 20 in the USILA Preseason Coaches’ Poll and as high as No. 17 in national preseason prognostications. Richmond (1-0) entered the season unranked but receiving votes from the USILA and was ranked as high as No. 15 on other national ledgers.

A 1-0 lead was Fairfield’s only advantage of the contest as Ford’s first career tally staked the Stags to a lead at 8:26 in the first quarter. The extra-man marker was set up by a Horning assist. Horning, who had 11 goals and 14 assists last season, extended his streak to 15 consecutive games with a point after his helper this afternoon.

Burke’s goal came in the final minute of the first frame as he converted a feed from Beckwith to rattle the cage. The 2017 CAA Preseason Player of the Year has totaled a point in all 18 games of his collegiate career after netting his first goal of the young campaign.

Burke’s tally, which cut the Richmond lead to 3-2, marked Fairfield’s last goal for a span of over 11 minutes as the Spiders opened up an 8-2 advantage. At that juncture, Panepinto won a scramble for a ground ball on the door step, scooping and scoring to send the Stags into the locker room facing an 8-3 deficit.

The Stags, however, were unable to score in the second half against the Spiders. Richmond, which was coming off of an 11-5 campaign and a trip to the Southern Conference Championship Game, added seven markers after the intermission to close out a 15-3 final margin.

Tyler Behring started in goal for the Stags and made nine saves to go along with five ground balls. Brad Nordstrom took over the cage for the fourth quarter and turned away five shots.

Richmond was led offensively by four goals and four assists from Teddy Hatfield and a six-point afternoon (4g, 2a) from Ryan Lee. Benny Pugh went the distance in goal and made 14 saves for the Spiders.

The Stags are back in action next Saturday, Feb. 18, for the first of three trips to Pennsylvania on the 2017 slate. Fairfield will head to Lewisburg to meet Bucknell in an 11:30 a.m. contest. The Bison are 2-0 on the season after a pair of one-goal victories – 14-13 at Delaware last Saturday and 9-8 this afternoon over Bryant.

Fairfield takes to Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium on Feb. 25 for a noon visit from Rutgers.

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