Courtesy: Carlisle Stockton

Stags Stopped by No. 14 Rutgers in Home Opener

Courtesy: Fairfield University
February 25, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A fast start by visiting Rutgers – ranked No. 14 in this week’s USILA Coaches’ Poll – was enough to hold off the Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. Tyler Behring made 16 saves for the Stags in the 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Scarlet Knights.

Behring’s 16 saves marked a season high for the senior, who was a First Team All-CAA selection last spring. The defensemen in front of the cage forced 14 Rutgers turnovers, including two caused by Andrew Murrow, who also collected four ground balls.

Offensively, Fairfield (1-2) got goals on the afternoon from Joe Rodrigues, Matt Sharpe and Alex Wagner with Colin Burke notching an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to 20 consecutive games.

At the faceoff ‘X’, Joe DeLasho went 4-for-9 while Will Fox added a 3-for-6 performance. The action in the midfield was also aided by Samuel Murphy, who gathered three ground balls to go along with a caused turnover for the sophomore.

After nearly seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse, the Rutgers attack began the stretch that would ultimately decide the game. Jeff George started the scoring at the 8:04 mark in the first quarter, followed less than 60 seconds later by a Jules Heningburg marker. Connor Murphy added the first of his three goals on the day at the 5:28 mark as the Scarlet Knights carried a 3-0 lead after one quarter of play.

The Stags were kept off the board until midway through the second quarter, with George and Christian Scarpello each rattling the cage for Rutgers before Rodrigues broke through to cut the deficit to 5-1 with 7:36 remaining in the opening half. However, goals from Casey Rose and Murphy would extend the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 7-1 heading into the intermission.

The Fairfield attack started to click in the opening stages of the third quarter beginning with a Sharpe goal with 13:23 on the clock. Less than a minute later Burke connected with Wagner for a marker that cut the margin to 7-3.

However, while the Fairfield defense kept Rutgers on the board for the entire third quarter – a drought that lasted over 20 minutes of game time in total – the Stags would not score again in the contest. Rutgers ended their dry spell with 10:02 to play as Murphy completed his hat trick for the Scarlet Knights to round out the 8-3 final score.

Both goalkeepers did their part in the second half with Behring making nine of his 16 stops after the break and Rutgers’ netminder Max Edelmann making six of his nine saves following halftime.

Rutgers (3-0) was led by Murphy’s hat trick and two goals from George. Rose added a goal and two assists for the Scarlet Knights.

The Stags will have a quick turnaround as they return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at UMass Lowell. After trips to Stony Brook at No. 8 Yale, Fairfield returns to Rafferty Stadium to host Cleveland State on Wednesday, March 15 at 3 p.m. on FairfieldStags.TV.




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