FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After playing six of its first seven games of 2017 on the road, the Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team returns to Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium on Tuesday, March 21 for the Stags’ first-ever meeting with the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Opening faceoff is slated for 3 p.m. with all of the action broadcast live on FairfieldStags.TV.
On-Campus Parking Notice Due to campus construction, the parking lot adjacent to the Kelley Center will be closed to the general public for the remainder of the season. Parking will be available in the lot between University Field and Loyola Hall and as directed by parking attendants on gameday. We request the cooperation of all fans in observing all posted signage when parking on campus.
Handicapped parking is available for those with proper permits on a first come, first served basis. Those in need of additional assistance are encouraged to contact Fairfield Athletics at 203-254-4000 ext. 2208 prior to gameday to ensure that proper accommodations are met.
Fairfield’s Last Time Out Led by four goals from Colin Burke, Fairfield played No. 2 Penn State to a dead heat for most of the March 17 encounter in State College. But ultimately, a Nittany Lions’ goal with 3:07 to play proved decisive in a 9-8 decision.
Fairfield is the first team to limit Penn State to less than 10 goals this season. Tyler Behring headed that effort in the cage with 14 saves, while the defensemen in front of him forced the Nittany Lions into 14 turnovers.
Scouting NJIT After most recently dropping a 10-6 decision to then-No. 5 Rutgers on Friday, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders are 0-8 this spring following a 1-14 showing in 2016.
The Highlanders are led offensively by Aaron Forster with 16 goals and two assists, with Ryan Callaghan adding 10 goals and five assists to the attack. NJIT is averaging 6.5 goals per game while conceding 14.5 markers per contest.
Cameron Cronk and Nick Marzullo have split time in the cage. Cronk holds a 12.94 goals-against average and .473 save percentage (58 goals, 52 saves) in 268:55 between the posts, while Marzullo has served 211:05 in goal en route to a 16.49 goals-against average and .437 save percentage (58 goals, 45 saves).
Collectively, NJIT is 46-of-195 (.236) at the faceoff dot. Tyler Stevenson heads the effort at 23-of-70 (.329) followed by John Tachon at 16-of-59 (.271).
Getting Defensive Despite being on the short side of last Friday’s 9-8 game at Penn State, the Stags put forth an unprecedented defensive effort against the unbeaten Nittany Lions. Fairfield is the only team to have limited Penn State - the nation’s second-highest scoring offense entering the day - to less than 12 goals in a game this season.
Individually, Tyler Behring made 14 saves as the defense also held the nation’s leading goal scorer Mac O’Keefe to just one marker. O’Keefe had netted five hat tricks en route to 29 total goals through seven games entering the meeting with the Stags.
Road Warriors Due in part to last week’s nor’easter, Fairfield is one of just three teams in the nation to have played only one home game thus far in 2017. Cornell will also play its second home game of the spring on Tuesday while Albany, which had a March 11 home game erased due to inclement weather, will plays its second home contest on Saturday.
Stiff Competition The five teams that have defeated the Stags this season are a combined 30-6 in 2017. All five teams have been ranked among the top 15 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll in various weeks throughout the spring.
Per the NCAA report for games played through March 19, the Stags’ entire schedule to date is rated as the fourth toughest in the nation by opponent win percentage (.682).
Up Next The Stags will play back-to-back home games for the first time this spring - and just their third home contest of the season overall - with a Saturday, March 25 visit from Villanova. The meeting with the Wildcats, which will be broadcast live on ESPN3, marks the celebration of Fairfield University’s 75th Anniversary and the 25th varsity season of Fairfield men’s lacrosse.
The current homestand will span three games in total as the Stags open their CAA slate with a visit from No. 7 Hofstra under the lights on Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m.