Courtesy: Elaine Nord

Stags Visit No. 15 Yale on Saturday

Courtesy: Fairfield University
March 09, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team wraps up a three-game road swing with a short Saturday afternoon trip to No. 15 Yale. The Stags and Bulldogs will faceoff from Reese Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.

Fairfield is looking to snap a two-game losing streak against Yale since downing the Bulldogs in overtime in 2014 to notch the first win over the perennial Ivy League contenders in program history. Yale will take to its home field looking to halt a three-game skid.

Fairfield’s Last Time Out
A 5-0 third quarter for host Stony Brook proved decisive as Fairfield fell, 9-6, at the No. 18 nationally-ranked Seawolves this past Saturday. Alex Wagner and Kendall Keahey each scored two goals for the Stags, while Colin Burke racked up three points with a goal and two assists. Fairfield also got a goal from Travis Ford, with Dylan Beckwith notching his fifth assist of the spring.

The Stags’ defense was strong against a Stony Brook (4-0) attack that entered the day averaging 17 goals per game and most recently netted 25 in a 25-17 rout of then-No. 10 Brown. In addition to a season-low scoring output for Stony Brook this afternoon, Fairfield pressured the Seawolves into a season-high 17 turnovers.

Tyler Behring made six saves in the cage in 58:28 of work, and Brad Nordstrom turned away the lone shot he faced while serving the final 1:32 of the contest between the pipes.

Will Fox led the effort in the midfield with an 8-for-14 showing on the draw and six ground balls.

Scouting Yale
An NCAA qualifier in back-to-back campaigns, No. 15 Yale enters the weekend with a record of 1-3. The reigning Ivy League Champions most recently dropped an 11-9 decision to UMass on Tuesday evening and previously lost to Bryant (9-6) and then-No. 1 Maryland (12-11) after opening the spring with a 16-11 victory at Villanova.

Jackson Morrill (8, 4a) and Joseph Sessa (2g, team-high 10a) lead the Bulldogs’ attack with 12 points apiece. Eric Scott has netted 10 points led by a team-best nine goals, while First Team All-America attackman Ben Reeves has also compiled 10 points despite missing one game due to injury.

Phil Huffard has started all four games in the cage, playing 214:34 of 240 minutes, en route to a 10.63 goals-against average and .479 save percentage (35 saves, 38 goals allowed). The remaining 25:26 between the posts has been served by Hoy Crance, who has recorded an 11.80 GAA and a .444 save percentage (4 saves, 5 goals allowed).

Conor Mackie has been on the draw for all but two faceoffs for the Bulldogs. He holds a 44-of-99 (.444) mark at the dot with a team-leading 20 ground balls. 

March 12, 2016: #4 Yale 10, Fairfield 5
Fairfield turned in a strong second half against No. 4 Yale but was unable to overcome an early deficit in a 10-5 loss to the Bulldogs. The contest was televised on SNY and played in front of a live crowd of 2,456 fans – the largest crowd in the two-year history of Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium.

Fairfield was led offensively by a hat trick from Colin Burke. Charlie Horning also contributed a three-point day to the offense with a goal and two assists. Rounding out the scoring was Jake Knostman with a man-up goal, while Charlie Schnider handed out two assists.

In the cage, Tyler Behring made 14 saves for the second consecutive game. The defense in front of him was led by three ground balls from Matt Borda and a pair scooped up by Spencer Noonan.

At the faceoff ‘X’, Joe DeLasho went a perfect 11-for-11. Will Fox also won two draws as the Stags went 13-for-17 on the day.

Immediate Impacts
Freshmen have accounted for 12 goals and 33 total points for the Stags thus far in 2017. Alex Wagner (5g, 2a) and Dylan Beckwith (2g, 5a) currently share second place on Fairfield’s scoring ledger - behind sophomore Colin Burke (7g, 6a) - with fellow rookie Travis Ford also adding five goals to the docket.

The trio leads a freshman class will look to continue a recent trend, as Burke was the third straight Fairfield player to collect Rookie of the Year laurels at the conference level in 2016. Previously, Will Fox was named the 2015 CAA Rookie of the Year and Dave Fleming garnered the 2014 ECAC Rookie of the Year distinction.

Stiff Competition
The three teams that have defeated the Stags this spring are a combined 13-1 thus far in 2017. The lone blemish is a loss by No. 20 Richmond to Duke, while No. 7 Rutgers and No. 14 Stony Brook are both undefeated. One of those runs will end this Friday, March 10 when the Scarlet Knights and Seawolves face off in Piscataway.

Per the NCAA report through games played on March 7, the Stags’ schedule to date is ranked as the eighth toughest in the nation (by opponent win percentage).

The Week Ahead
Fairfield returns to Rafferty Stadium to host Cleveland State on Wednesday, March 15 at 3 p.m. on FairfieldStags.TV. Two days later, the Stags head to Happy Valley to meet No. 3 Penn State in a game that will be broadcast to a national television audience at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17 on ESPNU.

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