Courtesy: Elaine Nord

Second Half Rallies Fall Short for Stags at Drexel

Courtesy: Fairfield University
April 08, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – On two occasions in the second half, the Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team cut Drexel’s lead to a single goal, but the host Dragons ultimately held off the Stags to claim a 13-12 decision on Vidas Field in Philadelphia. Joe Rodrigues scored a career-high five goals for Fairfield, with Colin Burke also netting five points via two goals and three assists.

After the one-goal loss, Fairfield stands at 3-8 overall and 0-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Drexel improves to 4-6 on the year with a 1-1 CAA mark.

Rodrigues established personal career highs in both goals and points with his five markers. After his five-point afternoon, Burke now stands at 16th in Fairfield history with 66 goals and 18th in program annals with 93 points. On the season, the sophomore leads the Stags with 20 goals and 30 total points.

Also finding the back of the net for the Stags were Dylan Beckwith, Travis Ford, Dave Fleming, J.B. Smith and Jack Brennan. The markers for Smith and Brennan were the first of their respective careers. Beckwith also dished out a pair of assists for his second consecutive three-point day. The rookie attackman leads the Stags with 11 helpers this spring and has the team’s longest active point-scoring streak with at least one point in eight straight outings.

The Stags held an edge on the draw, coming away with 15-of-29 faceoffs. Will Fox helmed the effort with a 14-of-24 performance and seven ground balls. Joe DeLasho also posted a win on the dot to help keep the Fairfield attack on the field.

Tyler Behring made seven saves to go along with three ground balls. Andrew Murrow also scooped up three ground balls from the defensive end of the field.

Reid Bowering piloted the Drexel attack with four goals and an assist. Joe Rainoldi added a hat trick from the midfield, and Cole Shafer scored two goals with one assist. Jimmy Joe Granito made 12 saves in goal, while the defense in front of him was led by five ground balls and three caused turnovers by Jake Gennosa.

Drexel never trailed in the contest with goals from Shafer and Zach Manns staking the hosts to an early 2-0 lead. The first of the game for Rodrigues then got the Stags on the board as the squads traded goals for the remainder of the period. Burke and Beckwith also rattled in the cage in the stanza as Drexel got goals from Robert Frazee, Rainoldi and Bowering to hold a 5-3 lead after the opening 15 minutes.

Two goals in a span of 13 seconds early in the second quarter – Rodrigues off a Burke assist and Ford on a feed from Beckwith – pulled the Stags even at 5-5, but Fairfield would not score again in the frame as unassisted markers from Bowering and Rainoldi sent the Dragons into the locker room with a 7-5 advantage.

In total, the Stags were kept off the board for a stretch of nearly 18 minutes, and Drexel scored twice more before Burke ended the drought to cut the deficit to 9-6 with 9:32 to go in the third. After Shafer potted a man-up goal to extend the margin to 10-6, the Stags went on the first of two second-half runs that nearly tied the game. This stretch encompassed just 88 seconds, starting with an unassisted goal from Rodrigues to complete his hat trick at the 6:41 marker. After a Fleming wrap-around goal, Fox came away with the faceoff and dumped it off to Smith, who ran in uncontested and beat Granito with the long pole to close the gap to 10-9.

That margin held into the fourth quarter, where Drexel got the first two goals to rebuild a 12-9 cushion with 12:21 to go. Rodrigues answered for the Stags, but Bowering struck back for the Dragons as the margin remained at three goals, 13-10, with under eight minutes to go.

The Stags made one final push, starting with a man-up goal from Brennan assisted by Burke at the 5:09 mark. Fairfield cut the deficit back to one goal with 3:56 remaining as Rodrigues took another Burke pass from behind the cage and fired it past Granito. The 13-12 deficit held up as final, however, as the Drexel netminder made his 12th and final save followed by a shot that rang off the post in the Stags’ final offensive trip. Brad Nordstrom took over the goal in relief for the final 76 seconds to aid in the Stags’ 10-man ride, but Drexel was able to maintain possession and run out the clock on the one-goal decision.

Fairfield held a 43-40 advantage in shots, and the Dragons maintained a 33-32 edge in ground balls. The Stags committed 10 turnovers while pressuring Drexel into nine giveaways. The Stags went 14-of-15 on the clear compared to a 15-of-17 mark for the host Dragons.

The Stags are back on the road and back on the Lax Sports Network next Saturday, April 15 at Massachusetts for the CAA Game of the Week. Faceoff from Garber Field is slated for 1 p.m. The Minutemen are 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the CAA after today’s 11-8 loss at No. 15 Towson.

Action returns to Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium on April 22 for a visit from Towson at 3 p.m. on Military Appreciation Day. The day begins with Fairfield Women’s Lacrosse challenging Canisius at noon. Both ends of the Saturday twin bill will be broadcast live on ESPN3.




MAAC Championship Run Ends with 7-6 Loss
Stags Open MAAC Championship with 12-1 Win
Softball Headed to Baton Rouge