FAIRFIELD, Conn.– The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team begins their three-game homestand to end the regular season by hosting Iona on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium.
Fairfield (9-4, 5-0 MAAC) vs. Iona (4-10, 1-4 MAAC): The Stags and Gaels will meet on Wednesday for the 15th time in program history. Last season, the Stags came out on top with a 9-7 victory on April 6.
Scouting the Gaels: Iona grabbed their first league win at Siena on April 8, but lost a heartbreaker at Manhattan on April 12, falling 10-9 in double overtime. Junior Pamela Giordano paces the Iona offense with 33 points and 29 goals. Senior Grace Celona facilitates at attack, dishing out a team best 15 assists so far this season. Sophomore Shannon McCaffrey has played the majority of minutes between the pipes for the Gaels, logging 94 saves and an 11.47 goals against average. As a team, Iona gets called for the most fouls per game among MAAC schools, but their aggressiveness pays off. The Gaels rank second in the league, just behind Fairfield, with 10.14 caused turnovers per game.
Last Time Out: SeniorAlex Fehmelscored five goals including the game-winner in overtime to push Fairfield past Marist 10-9 in Poughkeepsie on Saturday afternoon. The midfielder's dramatic goal also gave her 10 career game-winning goals, tied for the most in program history. With the win, the Stags improved to 5-0 in the MAAC and clinched a spot in the 2017 MAAC Championships.Fehmel led the Stags with six total points, adding an assist to her five scores.Brenna ConnollyandKathleen Hulsemantallied two goals apiece. AndBrooke Gallagheradded one score. Erin Mammele,Scarlett Sulliman, and Fehmel all had two draw controls on the day. And in cage,Caleigh O'Connormade nine saves against 24 total shots.
Player of the Week: Alex Fehmel was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team to a perfect 2-0 week. The captain is the third Stag to earn a MAAC weekly award this season. Fehmel led Fairfield with six goals in a 17-5 win over Quinnipiac on April 12. In the win she also collected four groundballs and two draw controls while causing three turnovers. Then in the 10-9 overtime victory at Marist she recorded another six points off five goals and an assist. The midfielder capped off her offensive outburst with the game-winning goal with just 22 seconds left in the first overtime period to push the Stags to 5-0 in conference play.
Career Milestones: Seniors Riley Hellstein and Alex Fehmel have now both tallied over 100 goals in their Fairfield careers, making them just the 11th and 12th players in program history to hit that mark.
Hellstein has also racked up 160 draw controls in her career to become the program’s all-time leader in that category.
Fehmel has jumped into the Top 10 this season with 70 caused turnovers in her career, placing her with the seventh most in program history. The senior has also tied the program record with 10 career game-winng goals.
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 43 times on 81 chances (.531) ranking 6th best in the country.
The Stags post the No. 1 scoring defense in the MAAC and are tied for 10th best in the country allowing just 8.54 goals per game.
At 3.31 goals per game, Hellstein ranks second in the MAAC and tied for 15th best in the nation. And with 4.46 points per game, is second in the league while ranking tied for 21st 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 13th best in the country allowing just 8.70 goals per game.
Sophomore Erin Mammele has collected 60 draw controls to break the program’s single-season record of 55 set last year by Colleen Reynolds. And with an average of 4.62 per game she is fourth best in the MAAC.
Junior Brenna Connolly leads the Stags with 20 assists this season while recording 1.54 per game, which ranks sixth best in the league.
Hellstein and Fehmel rank fourth and fifth in the conference with 1.69 and 1.46 caused turnovers per game.
Looking Ahead: The Stags will honor their 10-member senior class before Saturday’s first place clash with Canisius at noon. The game is also the front end of the Fairfield Lacrosse annual Military Appreciation Day doubleheader as the men will host Towson at 3:00 p.m.