Courtesy: Steve McLaughlin

Fairfield Challenges Central Connecticut on Wednesday

Courtesy: Fairfield University
March 28, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team plays their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday when they travel to New Britain, Conn. to face Central Connecticut State at 2:00 p.m.

Fairfield (4-4) vs. CCSU (1-7): The Stags and Blue Devils will meet on Wednesday for the second time in program history. The first meeting between the two sides was on March 13, 2015, a game in which the Stags won 13-9.  

Scouting the Blue Devils: Central’s only win of the season came in their last home game when they defeated St. Mary’s 21-12 on March 10. For the season, freshman midfielder Megan Szawlowski leads the Blue Devil offense with a team-high 28 points and 14 assists. Her 14 goals is also second best on the team. Leading the way in terms of goal scoring is senior midfielder Marissa Soto who has tallied 19 goals through eight games. Between the pipes, sophomore goalkeeper Jackie Branthover has logged every minute while recording 81 saves and a 14.04 goals against average.   

Last Time Out: The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team began MAAC play with a resounding 19-5 win at Siena on Saturday. Junior attacker Brenna Connolly matched a career-high and led all scorers with seven points in the victory. Nine total Stags scored a goal in the contest to match their highest offensive output as they had 19 tallies in the home matchup against Hofstra. Ten players had at least one point for Fairfield, six players had at least one assist, and four players recorded hat tricks in the league opener. Three goalkeepers earned playing time on the day with Caleigh O'Connor getting the start while logging 37 minutes and recording two saves. Amy White and Caitlin Bennett split the remaining time with White picking up two saves in just about 18 minutes of action.

Career Milestones: Senior Riley Hellstein tallied her 100th career goal against Hofstra, making her just the 11th player in program history to hit that mark. The attacker has also racked up 152 draw controls in her career thus far ranking second all-time at Fairfield. The program record belongs to Melanie Raso ’14, who hauled in 153 draw controls in her career.

Classmate Alex Fehmel has racked up 96 goals throughout her career, sitting just four shy of that 100 goal mark.

Player of the Week: Senior captain Riley Hellstein was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after tallying 14 points in Fairfield’s two wins last week. The attacker tied a career-high with nine points in the win over Sacred Heart, with a career-high five assists to go along with four goals. And in the win over Siena, Hellstein tallied four goals for the second straight game and added an assist for a total of five points. She leads Fairfield’s offense with 34 points off 27 goals and seven assists. At 3.38 goals per game, the senior ranks at the top of the MAAC and is tied for 13th best in the nation. And with 4.25 points per game, is second in the league while ranking tied for 23rd best in the country.

National Notice: Fairfield as a team ranks among the best in the nation at converting their free position shots. For the season, they have scored 22 times on 43 chances (.512) ranking 14th best in the country.

The Stags post the No. 1 scoring defense in the MAAC and 28th best in the country allowing just 9.75 goals per game.

Leaders in the MAAC: Besides Hellstein on the offensive end, the Stags’ senior goalkeeper Caleigh O'Connor has the best goals against average in the conference allowing just 10.01 goals per game.

Sophomore Erin Mammele has collected 37 draw controls through just eight games and is on pace to shatter Colleen Reynolds’ ’16 single-season record of 55 that she set last season. And with an average of 4.62 per game Mammele is third best in the MAAC.

Looking Ahead: The Stags jump back into conference play traveling to Niagara on Saturday, April 1.   

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