Courtesy: Elaine Nord

Stags Continue CAA Play at Drexel on Lax Sports Network

Courtesy: Fairfield University
April 07, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team returns to national stage on the Lax Sports Network for the CAA Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon at conference foe Drexel. Opening faceoff from the Dragons’ Vidas Field in Philadelphia is slated for 4 p.m.

Fairfield’s Last Time Out
Fairfield opened its CAA schedule with a 10-6 loss to unbeaten and No. 6 nationally-ranked Hofstra last Saturday night on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. Dylan Beckwith paced the Stags with two goals and an assist.

Fairfield also got two goals from Joe Rodrigues and a marker apiece from Travis Ford and Drew Murray. Beckwith, Ford, Murray, Andrew Eidenshink and Jake Knostman each distributed an assist for the Stags.

The Stags’ attack was started by solid performances on the draw from Joe DeLasho and Will Fox. DeLasho went 8-of-11 on the dot with three ground balls, and Fox added a 6-of-9 showing. Riley Peters aided the effort from the wing with three ground balls of his own.

Tyler Behring started in the cage and made 10 saves for the Stags. Brad Nordstrom spent the last 2:11 of the contest between the posts and did not face a shot.

Hofstra was led this evening by five points (2g, 3a) from Josh Byrne with Ryan Tierney and Brendan Kavanagh posting matching statlines of one goal and two assists. The Pride was anchored from the defensive side of the field by goalkeeper Jack Concannon. Concannon turned away 16 shots and also collected four ground balls to keep the Stags’ attack at bay.

Scouting Drexel
After opening their CAA slate with an 8-7 home loss to Towson last Saturday, the Drexel Dragons welcome the Stags to Vidas Field with a record of 3-6 overall and 0-1 in the CAA. The Dragons are 2-3 at home this spring.

Offensively, two-time Second Team All-CAA attackman Cole Shafer leads the team with 22 goals and 25 total points. Rookie Reid Bowering adds 13 goals and nine assist and Robert Frazee - the Dragons’ leading goal scorer last season with 24 markers - has contributed 16 goals and four assists to the Drexel attack. The Dragons rank third in the CAA with 9.45 goals scored per game and have conceded a CAA-worst 11.11 goals per contest.

Jimmy Joe Granito has helmed the cage for all by 64 seconds of the season for Drexel en route to a .515 save percentage (100 goals allowed, 106 saves) and an 11.08 goals-against average. Will Stabbert leads the defense in front of Granito with 12 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.

On the faceoff dot, rookie specialist Jimmeh Koita has taken the majority of the reps, recording a mark of 67-of-177 (.379) with a team-leading 28 ground balls. Adding in the efforts of Nabil Akl (2-of-10) and Ian Foster (7-of-250, the Dragons own a .358 win percentage on the draw this spring.

April 9, 2016: Fairfield 8, Drexel 7
Fairfield used a five-goal run in the second half to surge past visiting Drexel, 8-7, in last spring’s meeting on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. Charlie Schnider racked up six points (1g, 5a) for the Stags, and TJ Neubauer netted a hat trick before a crowd of 1,321 and a nationwide audience watching on ESPN3.

Colin Burke added two goals and dished out an assist. Rounding out the Fairfield scoring were Drew Murray with two goals and Charlie Horning with one assist.

In the midfield, Neubauer and Horning led the effort with six ground balls apiece. Three of Neubauer’s grabs came on the draw, where Will Fox went 5-of-12 and Joe DeLasho added a 2-of-6 day.

Tyler Behring helmed the cage and made seven saves to earn the win. He also picked up four ground balls and had a pair of caused turnovers.  Joe Guidarelli also caused two turnovers on the defensive end.

All-Time Series vs. Drexel (Drexel leads 3-2)
The Stags are 2-0 against Drexel since joining the CAA beginning in the 2015 season. Previously, the Dragons had won the only three meetings in the series that spanned Fairfield’s first three years as an NCAA varsity program from 1993-95.

On the Draw
Joe DeLasho has won over 50 percent of his faceoff attempts in each of the last four games, posting a 40-of-60 (.667) mark with 18 ground balls during that time. The stretch was highlighted by a 29-of-44 (.659) showing on the dot in the back-to-back games against NIT and Villanova.

For the season, DeLasho ranks second in the CAA at  66-of-123 (.537) with a team-high 32 ground balls. Will Fox is the other half of the equation with a 48-of-92 (.522) mark and 23 ground balls.

Schedule Strength
Per the latest NCAA report, Fairfield has played the 12th most difficult schedule in the nation by opponent winning percentage. The Stags’ 2017 opponents are a combined 51-37 (.580) to date. Five of Fairfield’s 10 prior foes held a USILA national ranking at the time of the meeting with the Stags, and seven of the 10 have cracked the top-20 at some point during the 2017 campaign.

Up Next
The Stags are back on the road and back on the Lax Sports Network next Saturday, April 15 at Massachusetts for the CAA Game of the Week. Faceoff from Garber Field is slated for 1 p.m.

Action returns to Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium on April 22 for a visit from Towson at 3 p.m. on Military Appreciation Day. The day begins with Fairfield Women’s Lacrosse challenging Canisius at noon. Both ends of the Saturday twin bill will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

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