CENTERVILLE, Mass. – The No. 14/15 Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team has officially earned the No. 1 seed in the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Lacrosse Tournament Championship, as the seeds were announced by the conference office this morning. The Stags will face fourth-seeded University of Michigan on May 1 at 5pm in the tournament’s first semifinal at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. The 2014 ECAC Lacrosse Tournament Championship will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2.
Ohio State (6-7, 3-1 ECAC) garnered the No. 2 seed and will take on the United States Air Force Academy (8-5, 3-1 ECAC) in the second semifinal on Thursday.
The Stags earned the No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker after finishing the regular season with an overall record of 11-3 and wrapping up their conference ledger at 3-1. Fairfield knocked off Bellarmine, Michigan, and Ohio State and garnered the top-seed on the final day of the season.
Fairfield’s offense scored the most goals in the ECAC this season (161) and won nine of its final 10 games to conclude the regular season. Junior Colin McLinden (Madison, N.J.), classmate Tristan Sperry (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), and sophomore TJ Neubauer (Glen Arm, Md.) claimed three of the league’s top-five spots in individual scoring this season, combining for 59 goals and 119 points. McLinden led the ECAC with 28 assists, while also adding 16 goals for a total of 44 points. Sperry posted a balanced stat line of 22 goals and 17 assists for 39 points and Neubauer tallied 36 points on 31 goals and five assists.
The Stags defense was one of the nation’s best in 2014, allowing an average of just 8.64 goals per contest. Senior goalkeeper Jack Murphy (Cohasset, Mass.) turned aside 131 shots during his final season in a Fairfield uniform and posted an 8.54 goals against average which is good for 12th in the nation. The Stags have outscored their opponents by an average of 2.86 goals per game, which ranks 13th in the nation.
The Wolverines (5-10, 1-3 ECAC) will make their first appearance in the ECAC Lacrosse Tournament Championship in 2014 after setting a program record for wins in a season. After a 5-10 slate during the regular season that included an overtime win over Bellarmine to secure a berth in the ECAC Lacrosse Tournament Championship, Michigan earned the No. 4 seed. Freshman Ian King led the Michigan attack with 31 points, including 30 goals, which were the most among conference rookies. In his first collegiate season, King finished his first collegiate season with goals in 14 of 15 games, including 11 multi-goal contests. The Wolverine defense leads the ECAC in caused turnovers (116) and saves (150) through 15 games.
Photo courtesy Bill Danielewski