No. 13/15 Men's Lacrosse Tops Michigan 9-8 to Win Seventh Straight
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Battle of the Big House belonged to the No. 13/15 Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team as the Stags knocked off the University of Michigan, 9-8, this afternoon in an ECAC Lacrosse League showdown at Michigan Stadium. The Stags, winners of seven straight, improve to 9-2 on the year and 2-0 in conference play.
Junior Colin McLinden had a five point game, finishing with two goals and three assists for the Stags. Freshman Dave Fleming and sophomore Drew Federico had two goals apiece. Senior Eric Warden extended his goal-scoring streak to 12 games while Tristan Sperry and Jake Knostman each added a goal and an assist.
Fairfield got its offense going just four minutes into the game as Sperry found the back of the net. Fleming added the Stags’ second goal three minutes later, putting home a pass from TJ Neubauer. Michigan answered with back-to-back goals to tie the game. With 24 seconds left in the first quarter, it was an all-rookie connection as Knostman found Fleming for his second goal of the day.
Warden made it 4-2 less than a minute into the second quarter with his 26th goal of the season. After a goal by the Wolverines, McLinden scored twice in a one minute span to push Fairfield’s lead to 6-3. Michigan answered again, but McLinden connected with both Federico and Knostman in the final minute of the stanza to send the Stags into halftime with an 8-4 lead.
Michigan (4-8; 1-2 ECAC) accounted for the only two goals in the third quarter while Kyle Jackson pulled the Wolverines within 8-7 just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter. Neither team would score again until the 2:12 mark when Federico added an important insurance goal for the Stags. David Joseph pulled Michigan within 9-8 with 1:37 left to play but the Stags staved off the Wolverines for the win.
Senior Jack Murphy made eight saves for the Stags while Robbie Zonino stopped eight shots for the Wolverines.
In addition to his assist, Neubauer posted a career-high six ground balls. Federico tied a career-best with three ground balls. Fairfield dominated at the dot, winning 13 of 20 faceoffs. Senior Michael Roe won 11 of the 16 faceoffs he took, scooping up seven ground balls in the process, while Louie DiGiacomo was 2-for-4.
Fairfield continues ECAC Lacrosse League play next weekend when it travels to Air Force on April 12. The Stags head to Quinnipiac University for a non-league contest on April 15 before closing out the regular season at home on April 26 against the Ohio State University. Fairfield travels to the 2014 ECAC Lacrosse League Championship, May 1-3, which will be hosted by the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio.