The Lead: Senior Terry McKenna (Summit, N.J.) broke a 9-9 tie with just 3:40 left in the fourth quarter with the game-winning goal as the Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team defeated Fairfield, 10-9, at Rafferty Stadium on Saturday in the season-opener for both teams. This is the first ever victory for Holy Cross over the Stags as Fairfield had won the previous eight games between the two programs. This is the Crusaders’ first win in its season-opener since a 7-5 victory at St. John’s on Feb. 16, 2008. Junior Sean Wilkinson (Ridgefield, Conn.) led the Crusaders with three goals and two assists for five points, while freshman Logan LeBlond (Branchburg, N.J.) posted two goals and one assist for three points as he made his collegiate debut.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After Fairfield took an early 3-0 lead, Wilkinson found the back of the net with 7:13 left in the first quarter off a pass from LeBlond. The assist was LeBlond’s first collegiate point. But Colin McLinden scored with 5:43 remaining as the Stags led 4-1 after the first quarter.
- Wilkinson opened up the scoring in the second quarter, but goals by Tristan Sperry and T.J. Neubauer increased the Fairfield lead to 6-2 with 8:57 left. Sophomore Kevin Lux (Manlius, N.Y.) netted the last goal of the second as the Crusaders trailed 6-3 at the half.
- Holy Cross posted two straight goals to start the third quarter to cut Fairfield’s lead to 6-5. Wilkinson tallied his third goal of the contest and LeBlond recorded his first collegiate goal. Wilkinson posted an assist on LeBlond’s goal.
- After Neubauer scored a man-up goal, the Crusaders answered with a goal by sophomore Marc Buermann (West Caldwell, N.J.) to make the score, 7-6. But another man-up goal by Neubauer gave Fairfield a two-goal advantage.
- The Crusaders then tied the contest at 8-8 with goals by Buermann and LeBlond. The goal by LeBlond was with just five seconds left in the third quarter and was assisted by Lux.
- With 13:40, Fairfield took a 9-8 lead when Neubauer scored his fourth goal of the contest. But with 6:47 left, senior Clay Haarmann (Mendham, N.J.) tied the game when he found the back of the net off a pass from Wilkinson.
- Then with 3:40 remaining, McKenna gave the Crusaders their first lead of the game at 10-9.
- Junior Joe Reilly (Garden City, N.Y.) then won the face-off giving the Crusaders the ball. Fairfield would get the ball with 28 seconds left, but the Stags then turned it over as McKenna picked up the ground ball with 11 seconds left to secure the 10-9 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Junior Michael Ortlieb (Newport Beach, Calif.) made 13 saves to earn the win, while Nordstrom posted nine saves.
- Fairfield outshot Holy Cross, 39-32.
- The Stags picked up 30 ground balls and the Crusaders posted 27.
- Fairfield won 13 of 23 face-offs, while the Stags went 2-5 on extra-man opportunities.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- This is the first ever victory for the Crusaders over the Stags as Fairfield had won the previous eight meetings between the two programs.
- This is the Crusaders’ first victory in its season-opener since a 7-5 win at St. John’s on Feb. 16, 2008.
- LeBlond’s three points were the most by a freshman in the Crusaders’ first game of the season since James Kennedy scored three goals and tallied one assist for four points versus St. John’s on Feb. 20, 2010.
- McKenna’s goal was his second career game-winner.
- Wilkinson’s hat-trick was the third of his career.
- This was the first game for the Crusaders under head coach Judd Lattimore earning the victory in his debut with the program.
- The Crusaders will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 21, when they travel to Baltimore, Md., to open the Patriot League season versus No. 7 Loyola (Md.) at 1:00 p.m.