FAIRFIELD, Conn.– The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team jumps back into conference play when they head to Niagara on Saturday, April 1 for a 12:00 p.m. contest.
Fairfield (5-4, 1-0 MAAC) vs. Niagara (4-5, 1-0 MAAC): The Stags and Purple Eagles will meet on Saturday for the 22nd time in program history. Last season, Niagara won the regular season matchup 9-7, but the Stags won the MAAC First Round game at Niagara 9-7 to advance to the Semifinals.
Scouting the Purple Eagles: Niagara is coming off an 18-8 loss to Rutgers on March 28. But they stand 1-0 in league play after taking down Iona in their conference opener 11-9 on March 26. Jillian Ford, Alexis Morales, and Rachel MacCheyne all recorded three points in the win. For the season, MacCheyne leads the squad with 31 points off a team-high 25 goals. Grace Hunt is the team leader with 20 assists and has racked up 27 total points thus far. Andrea Francisco has made all nine starts in cage, posting 74 saves and an 11.35 goals against average.
Last Time Out: The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team closed out non-conference play with a 12-4 victory over Central Connecticut State. Riley Hellstein paced the offense with seven points off five assists and two goals. The senior also collected two draw controls to become Fairfield’s all-time leader in that category. Two other Stags recorded hat tricks on the day with Scarlett Sulliman and Taylor Mitchell tallying three goals each. Olivia Russell had two goals, while Lily Crager and Kathleen Hulseman both scored once. Rounding out the offense, Alex Fehmel and Riley Smith each registered an assist. For the second game in a row, Fairfield played three keepers. Caleigh O'Connor earned the start and played 35 minutes while making 10 saves. Amy White and Caitlin Bennett split the remaining 25 minutes, allowing just one goal each.
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 154 draw controls in her career to become the program’s all-time leader in that category.
Classmate Alex Fehmel has racked up 96 goals throughout her career, sitting just four shy of that 100 goal mark.
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 23 times on 48 chances (.479) ranking 24th best in the country.
The Stags post the No. 1 scoring defense in the MAAC and 16th best in the country allowing just 9.11 goals per game.
At 3.22 goals per game, Hellstein ranks second in the MAAC and is tied for 16thbest in the nation. And with 4.56 points per game, is first in the league while ranking 15th best in the country.
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 and 22nd best in the country allowing just 9.52 goals per game.
Sophomore Erin Mammele has collected 40 draw controls through just nine 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 4.44 per game she is third best in the MAAC.
Looking Ahead: The Stags will host Monmouth on Wednesday, April 5 for a 3:00 p.m. face off on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium.