Courtesy: Road Win Photos/Brian McWalters

Men's Lacrosse Visits Bucknell on Saturday

Courtesy: Fairfield University
February 16, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team makes the first of three trips to Pennsylvania on the 2017 schedule with a Saturday, Feb. 18 visit to Bucknell. Opening faceoff between the Stags (0-1) and Bison (2-0) is slated for 11:30 a.m. from Bucknell’s Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

The Stags are looking to pick up their first win of the 2017 campaign and aim to snap a two-game skid against Head Coach Andy Copelan’s alma mater. Bucknell eyes a 3-0 start for the second consecutive season as well as its second win over a CAA team after rallying past Delaware, 14-13, two weeks ago.

Fairfield’s Last Time Out
Fairfield dropped a 15-3 decision to host Richmond in its 2017 season opener last Saturday, Feb. 11. Travis Ford, Colin Burke and Nico Panepinto had the Stags’ trio of goals, while Charlie Horning and Dylan Beckwith each handed out an assist for the visitors.

The Stags came into the contest ranked No. 20 in the USILA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Richmond was unranked at the time of the game but has since risen to No. 16 in both the USILA coaches’ poll and the media poll.

Tyler Behring started in goal for the Stags and made nine saves to go along with five ground balls. Brad Nordstrom took over the cage for the fourth quarter and turned away five shots.

Richmond was led offensively by four goals and four assists from Teddy Hatfield and a six-point afternoon (4g, 2a) from Ryan Lee. Benny Pugh went the distance in goal and made 14 saves for the Spiders.

Scouting Bucknell
Unranked but receiving votes in the three major national polls, the Bucknell Bison are off to a 2-0 start to their 2017 campaign. The Bison have claimed a pair of one-goal decisions thus far, earning a 14-13 victory at Delaware on Feb. 4 and most recently nabbing a 9-8 win over Bryant on Feb. 11. In both outings, Bucknell erased a fourth-quarter deficit en route to victory. The Bison were tabbed for fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll after finishing third in the league last spring behind NCAA qualifiers Loyola Maryland and Navy.

Will Sands has led the Bucknell attack in 2017 with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) through two games, while Sean O’Brien has paced the Bison goal scorers with eight markers to go along with one assist. Reed Malas and Connor O’Hara have each added five goals.

Christian Klipstein has spent 118 of 120 minutes in the cage in 2017, posting a 10.18 goals against average and .487 save percentage (19 saves, 20 goals). At the faceoff ‘X’, Jarett Witzal has taken all but one draw for the Bison en route to a 30-for-47 mark (.638) with a team-best 16 ground balls.

Feb. 20, 2016: Bucknell 13, Fairfield 8
Last season, Tyler Behring made a career-high 23 saves in goal as the Stags were upended by visiting Bucknell by a 13-8 count on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. TJ Neubauer led the offense with three goals and an assist.

In addition to Neubauer’s hat trick, the Stags benefitted from two Joe Rodrigues goals as well as markers from Charlie Schnider, Colin Burke and Nico Panepinto. Burke also handed out two assists.

In front of Behring, Matt Borda led the defensive effort with three ground balls and two caused turnovers. Logan Williamson also collected three ground balls.

Bucknell was guided on the offensive end by three goals and two assists from Sean Doyle. Will Sands and a goal and two helpers, and Tommy O’Connor netted a pair for the unbeaten Bison. Christian Klipstein protected the Bucknell cage and came away with six saves.

Around the CAA
Saturday marks the first full weekend of CAA action with all six teams taking the field, including the 2017 debuts for Towson, Drexel and Hofstra. Five of the six CAA teams are matched up with an opponent either ranked or receiving votes in the USILA Coaches’ Poll.

Towson enters its opener at Mount St. Mary’s as the only CAA team to hold a national ranking, slotted in a tie at No. 12 with Albany, which also begins its 2017 campaign today (at No. 6 Syracuse).

Up Next
The Stags open their home slate and make their Lax Sports Network debut next Saturday, Feb. 25 with a visit from No. 18 Rutgers. Faceoff from Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium is slated for noon as the first game of a doubleheader that also features Fairfield women’s lacrosse challenging Hofstra at 3 p.m. on FairfieldStags.TV.

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