Courtesy: Fairfield University

Stags Cap 2017 with Senior Night Win over Delaware

Courtesy: Fairfield University
April 28, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield University men's lacrosse team capped off the 2017 campaign on Friday evening with an 11-7 Senior Night victory over visiting Delaware. Colin Burke racked up a season-best six points for the Stags – eclipsing the 100-point mark in the process – and Dylan Beckwith netted a hat trick that included the game-winner.

With the victory, the Stags end the campaign at 5-9. Fairfield won its last two CAA games, an upset of then-No. 15 Towson last Saturday followed by tonight's triumph, to finish the league slate at 2-3.

“Two weeks ago, we knew that we didn't have a chance to extend our season. And honestly, the fact that we finished the last two weeks 2-0 against two really high-quality opponents, that tells you a lot about the guys in our locker room right now,” said Head Coach Andy Copelan in his postgame comments to the Lax Sports Network.

Burke's three goals and three assists this evening give him a team-high 41 points this spring and 104 career points at the close of his sophomore campaign. He is the fourth-fastest in program history to eclipse 100 career points, doing so in his 31st game as a Stag. Only Matt Callaghan '98, J.T. Groarke '99 and Spencer Steele '00 – the only three Stags to ever notch 200 career points – reached the century mark faster than Burke.

Burke now ranks 15th in program history in points and 12th in goals with 72 career markers. His six points are the most by a Fairfield player since his own seven-point day in the 2016 CAA Championship Semifinal win over Hofstra.

Beckwith's hat trick was the second of his freshman campaign as he wraps up the year with 16 goals and 12 assists to rank second behind Burke with 28 points.

In tonight's game, the Stags also got two man-up goals and an assist from Drew Murray and single markers from Joe Rodrigues, Nico Panepinto and Dave Fleming. Jake Knostman added an assist in the final game of his career, and Charlie Horning also handed out one helper.

In the cage, Tyler Behring posted his third straight double-digit save outing to cap his season and collegiate career. The senior netminder made 14 stops on the day, including six in the fourth quarter to lead a Fairfield defensive effort that held its seventh opponent of the season below double figures.

Will Fox and Joe DeLasho were both solid on the draw as the Stags won the first nine faceoffs of the game en route to a 13-of-21 day. Fox went 7-of-10 with three ground balls while DeLasho was 6-of-11 with four ground balls. Ryan Antell and Spencer Noonan each scooped up three ground balls on the wings and as a part of the defense. The Stags kept Delaware off the board for all three of their extra-man opportunities.

Delaware finishes the year at 7-8 overall and 0-5 in the CAA in the final season for 39-year head coach Bob Shillinglaw. The Blue Hens were led by a Joe Eisele hat trick and four assists from Andrew Romagnoli. Matt Deluca made 11 saves for the visitors.

The Stags started the scoring on Burke's first of the day, with Eisele answered in kind with the first marker of his eventual hat trick. At that point, Fairfield reeled off four straight tallies as Rodrigues, Murray, Fleming and Beckwith in a span of just over seven minutes to open up a 5-1 lead that carried through the end of the first period.

However, the Blue Hens battled back with a run of their own in the second quarter. Delaware netted four tallies in the stanza, keeping Fairfield off the board for the entire 15 minutes, to send the game into the intermission knotted at 5-5.

The Blue Hens took their first lead of the day just 11 seconds into the third quarter, taking a 6-5 advantage. Fairfield would then end its scoring drought after 22:54 of game time as Burke potted his second of the day to deadlock the game at 6-6. The final strike of the third frame came from Delaware as Charlie Kitchen put the visitors back on top, 7-6, with 4:49 left in the period, but the Blue Hens would not score again as the Stags surged in front in the final quarter of the season.

Panepinto – one of Fairfield's eight seniors – came up with the game-tying goal as he tip-toed along the crease and laid out to rattle the cage with 11:52 to go. After a pair of Behring saves preserved the 7-7 tie, including one stop the squash a Delaware man-up opportunity, Beckwith put the Stags in front with a rocket that beat Deluca with 7:31 remaining. The play also resulted in a 60-second extra-man opportunity that led to Murray's second man-up goal of the day to extend the lead to 9-7.

The Stags tacked on a pair of late goals as Beckwith and Burke each completed their hat tricks to round out the final score at 11-7.

Fairfield was 2-of-3 on extra-man opportunities while Delaware went 0-of-3. Led by their success on the draw, the Stags also held an edge in ground balls, 26-25. Both teams took 38 shots and each club committed 12 turnovers.

Prior to the game, the Stags recognized the eight seniors playing in their final contest tonight – Behring, Fleming, Knostman, Panepinto, Matt Borda, Andrew Eidenshink, Christopher Giorgio and Logan Williamson. First-year graduate transfer Tim Mulrenan, who previously played at Villanova, also made his first appearance for the Stags as his career came to a close.

Fleming and Knostman both conclude their Fairfield careers with 62 games played, trailing only their former teammate Greg Perraut '14 for the most games played by Stag (63).

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