BUFFALO, N.Y. – Led by six points from the 2017 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, Riley Hellstein, the Fairfield University women's lacrosse team advanced to their eighth MAAC Championship Game in program history. The No. 2 seed Stags took down No. 3 seed Marist 15-8 in the MAAC Semifinals on Friday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex.
As she has all season, Hellstein paced the offense with four goals and two assists. Scarlett Sulliman recorded four points with three goals and an assist on the day. Senior Alex Fehmel poured in three goals, while Brenna Connolly tallied three points with a goal and two assists. Kathleen Hulseman scored twice against the Red Foxes, Lily Crager posted a goal and an assist, and Olivia Russell rounded out the scoring with one goal.
Hellstein also grabbed a team-high seven draw controls as Caleigh O'Connor played all 60 minutes between the pipes while making two saves.
The senior co-captain, Hellstein, got the scoring started about 12 minutes in with a free position shot. Russell made it 2-0 for the Stags when she secured the pass from Connolly. After one Marist score, Fehmel and Hulseman put in back to back goals to make it 4-1 Fairfield midway through the opening frame.
Hellstein picked up two more points as she notched her second goal and assisted on Sulliman's score that extended the Stags lead to 6-2. Before the end of the half, Hellstein scored her third goal and Fehmel buried two more to push the Stags' advantage to 9-5.
The Stags maintained their lead throughout the second frame and pushed it to an eight goal advantage with under four minutes left. Hellstein and Hulseman opened the second half scoring giving Fairfield an 11-5 lead. A Marist goal cut it to 11-6, but Connolly and Sulliman answered with back to back scores putting the score at 13-6.
After one more Red Fox score, Crager scored her first of the game while Sulliman knocked in her third giving Fairfield 15 goals on the afternoon.
Fairfield now advances to the 2017 MAAC Championship Game on Sunday at noon where they will face the winner of No. 1 Canisius and No. 4 Niagara.