Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse Tops Host Drexel, 7-4, in Program’s First-Ever CAA Contest
Federico among three Stags with three points against defending CAA Champions
PHILADELPHIA – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team began its first-ever season of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) competition with a 7-4 with at defending league champion Drexel on Saturday afternoon. Drew Federico, TJ Neubauer and Tristan Sperry each totaled three points for the Stags.
Fairfield (6-4, 1-0 CAA) turned in another strong defensive effort in its fourth consecutive victory. The Stags, who entered the day ranked sixth in the nation in scoring defense, allowed just four goals for the second straight contest. Fairfield last ceded only eight goals during a two-game stretch in wins over Harvard (8-4) and Manhattan (13-4) during the 2001 campaign.
Coming off of a week in which he was named the NCAA.com Defensive Player of the Week and CAA Player of the Week, Tyler Behring matched his career high of 16 saves established one week ago against No. 20 Villanova. The sophomore goalkeeper also picked up three ground balls to move to 3-0 in three career starts.
Also on the defensive end, Conor Barr caused three Drexel (4-6, 0-1 CAA) turnovers.
Offensively, Neubauer and fellow junior midfielder Charlie Schnider each scored two goals while single tallies for Fairfield came from Federico, Sperry and Colin McLinden. Sperry also dished out two assists to move into 10th place all-time at Fairfield in both career points (114) and career assists (47). Federico handed out two helpers as well, and Neubauer dished out an assist to round out the scoring.
The only goal of the first quarter came from Sperry, who buried an unassisted marker just 61 seconds into the contest to stake the Stags to a 1-0 advantage. Drexel threatened late in the period, but Behring’s save at the horn preserved the shutout through the opening frame of action
The hosts ended their 17-minute scoring drought with an equalizer from Jules Raucci that knotted the game at 1-1. However, the goal would be Drexel’s only score of the first half, and Fairfield found the back of the net once more before the intermission. With the period winding down, Neubauer connected with Schnider, who buried his 14th goal of the spring to send the Stags into the locker room with a 2-1 advantage.
Just as they did in the first quarter, the Stags needed less than two minutes to get on the board in the third frame. This time it was Neubauer finishing a pass from Federico to extend the lead to 3-1. However, the hosts needed just 49 seconds to respond as a Ryan Belka goal cut the Fairfield advantage to 3-2 at the 12:38 mark in the period. Neubauer and Belka would trade goals again in the third, with Sperry notching the assist on Neubauer’s goal for Fairfield, and the Stags’ 4-3 lead held into the fourth quarter.
The Stags struck first in the final frame. Federico fought his way toward the crease and fired past Granito to extend the Fairfield advantage to 5-3 with 9:57 to play. An insurance marker came with 3:09 left, this time with Federico providing the assist and Schnider finishing the job. Frank Fusco notched a late goal for Drexel before McLinden found the back of the net in the closing seconds to round out the score at its eventual final of 7-4.
The Dragons outshot the Stags, 35-23, and held the edge in ground balls by a 27-26 count. In addition to Belka’s two goals, Chris Federick doled out a pair of assists for the hosts.
The Stags continue CAA action and finish the road portion of their regular season schedule next Saturday, April 4 with a visit to the University of Massachusetts.
Kelly’s 15 Saves, Blynn’s Four Goals Lift #12 Brown Over #9 Princeton
Princeton, N.J. – Junior attackman Henry Blynn (Villanova, PA) scored four goals and junior goalie Jack Kelly (West Islip, NY) made 15 saves to lead #12 Brown to a thrilling 10-8 win over #9 Princeton Sunday morning before a crowd of 1,746 and national television audience at Class of 1952 Stadium.
Brown improves to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the Ivy League, while Princeton falls to 6-2 overall, 2-1 in Ivy play.
Kelly was brilliant in the Brown goal with Princeton peppering the goal with 51 shot attempts. He made10 of his 15 saves in the opening half to hold off the Tigers as Brown built a 4-3 lead at intermission.
Blynn’s season high four goals came on 10 shots. Junior Brendan Caputo (Westbury, NY) scored three goals for the Bears, while sophomore long stick middy Larken Kemp (Greenwich, CT) added two goals. Junior attackman Dylan Molloy (Setauket, NY), the nation’s leading scorer, was held scoreless, but added two key assists.
Brown had the better of play in the trenches, grabbing a 37-32 margin in ground balls and junior Will Gural (Haverford, PA) winning 12-of-21 face-offs.
Mike MacDonald paced Princeton’s attack with three goals and one assist, while Tigers’ goalie Eric Sanschagrin kept the Tigers in the game with 15 saves.
Brown jumped out to a 2-0 first quarter lead on a goals by Kemp and Blynn, before the Tigers recovered with a goal by Mike McDonald with 10:09 left in the quarter.
Despite being out-shot 15-13 in the quarter, Kemp’s second goal and one by Caputo gave Brown a 4-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes.
Princeton slowed the game down and scored the only two goals of the quarter – one by McDonald and the other by Sean Connor – to trail 4-3 at intermission.
A sea-saw battle ensued early in the third quarter with the Bears building a 5-3 lead on an early goal by Blynn, but Princeton tying the score at 5-5, following goals by Gavin McBride and Adam Hardej.
Blynn scored twice more to give Brown the lead for good, and Caputo netted his second goal to lift the Bears to an 8-5 lead over the Tigers with 3:04 left in the quarter.
Caputo and senior middy Nick Piroli (Black River, NY) registered goals for the Bears to cap a 5-0 Brown run for a 10-5 lead with 8:21 remaining in the game.
The Tigers made a late run on goals by Will Himler, MacDonald and Currier to cut Brown’s lead to 10-8, with 3:54 left in the game. Brown’s defense stiffened in the waning moments to fend off the Tigers.
The Bears return to Stevenson Field next Saturday, April 4, hosting Ivy League rival Penn. Face-off is scheduled for 3 pm.