FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The No. 19 Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team won their third-straight game by topping No. 11 University of Massachusetts, 11-5, this afternoon at Alumni Field.
Junior Colin McLinden (Madison, N.J.) tallied three goals, an assist, and three ground balls while senior Eric Warden (Glen Mills, Pa.) had three goals. Juniors Tristan Sperry (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and Drew Federico (West Islip, N.Y.) chipped in with two goals apiece while rookie Dave Fleming (San Carlos, Calif.) posted a goal and an assist.
Fairfield (5-2) came out strong in the first quarter, as Sperry netted goals at 12:35 and 12:00 for the early 2-0 lead. The Stags held UMass (6-2) scoreless in the first period of play.
The Stags built up a 4-0 lead in the second quarter on strikes by Fleming at 13:03 and Federico at 8:06. The Minutemen did not score until the 4:35 mark in the period as Andrew Sokol found Nick Mariano. McLinden answered a minute later but UMass scored with 7.6 seconds left in the half to pull within 5-2 at the break.
Warden gave the Stags a 6-2 lead just 2:12 into the third quarter. UMass answered at 11:18 with a goal by Mariano but Warden countered with his second goal of the game at 9:44. The Minutemen cut it to three goals, 7-4, at 5:20 on a man-up tally but Federico returned the lead to four, less than a minute later. In the fourth quarter, Connor Mooney pulled UMass within 8-5 on a man-up goal at 9:45. Warden put home a Fleming pass at 7:26 to change momentum while McLinden scored twice in the final 4:35 to secure the win.
Eight of the 13 UMass turnovers on the day were caused by Fairfield. Senior Greg Perraut (Glen Rock, N.J.) was part of a strong defensive effort for the Stags, finishing with two caused turnovers and a ground ball. Junior Max Buchanan (Wyckoff, N.J.) also had two caused turnovers and four ground balls.
Senior Jack Murphy (Cohasset, Mass.) made 10 saves in goal for the Stags while UMass’ Zach Oliveri made five saves. Murphy added a caused turnover and two ground balls.
The Minutemen’s Joe Calvello won 14 of the 19 face-offs he took, scooping up nine ground balls while Louie DiGiacomo (Norwalk, Conn.) had five face-off wins.
Fairfield returns to action on March 22 when it travels to Holy Cross.
Photo courtesy Inside Lacrosse: Bill Danielewski