BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sophomore Alex Fehmel (Shoreham, N.Y.) recorded a hat trick to lead the second-seeded Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team to a 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship title. The Stags posted an exciting 9-7 victory over No. 1 host Canisius College in the final contest at the Demske Sports Complex.
This is Fairfield’s first MAAC Championship title since 2009 and automatically advances the team to the 2015 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. The Stags will learn their NCAA postseason destination tonight at 9:00 p.m. as a part of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Selection Show live on NCAA.com.
Along with three goals from Fehmel, Julieanne Mascera (Verona, N.J.) tallied two for Fairfield who also received single markers from Colleen Reynolds (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Maeve Quinn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Jenna Fuchs (Garden City, N.Y.), and Scarlett Sulliman (Rye, N.Y.). The all around team effort improved the Stags’ record to 14-4.
The Stags started off strong, with defender Meghan Reda (Pleasantville, N.Y.) grabbing the first draw control of the game to give Fairfield an offensive possession. The scoring started early, as Mascera netted an unassisted goal to put the Stags on the board at 29:14. After several turnovers from both teams, Canisius answered with a free position goal from Tori Quinn at 22:14.
Canisius (13-6) scored twice more, at 20:31 and 16:55, to give the Golden Griffins a 3-1 advantage. The first unassisted goal was netted by Meghan Cuddy while the second goal was scored by Ashley Bull off a free position shot. Fairfield continued to battle over the next 12 minutes, forcing Canisius’ goalkeeper Kayla Scully to make four saves to keep the Griffs ahead. The Stags kept up the intensity, which allowed them to notch their own set of consecutive goals to tie the game at 3-3. The first goal was scored by Fairfield’s leading scorer Fehmel, off a feed from Fuchs, at 4:49. The following goal was netted by Reynolds just one minute later.
Despite Canisius’ Erica Evans grabbing the following draw control, the Stags were able to regain possession after Shelby Iapoce (Schenectady, N.Y.) scooped a ground ball off a Canisius turnover. Fairfield capitalized on their offensive opportunity, finding the back of the net once more with just 20 seconds left in the half. Quinn tallied the unassisted goal to give Fairfield a 4-3 advantage heading into halftime.
Canisius came out ready to play in the second half, picking up the first draw control. Play went back and forth for almost 10 minutes, with impressive defensive efforts from both teams preventing goals on either end of the field. The Stags were finally able to connect, to score the first goal of the half, at 20:15. Mascera netted her second goal of the game, off an assist from Quinn, to give Fairfield its first two-goal advantage over the Griffs.
The Stags extended their lead to five goals after going on a 3-0 run over the next eight and a half minutes. The first tally came when Fehmel found the back of the net at 17:52. Fuchs followed, off a pass from Reynolds, at 16:19, before Sulliman stepped on the scene to score at 12:42. The goal was once again assisted by Quinn.
Just 12 seconds after Fairfield’s last goal, the Golden Griffins responded with a 4-0 run of their own over the next six and half minutes. The first goal was netted by Cuddy, off a pass from Quinn, at 12:30 before Quinn found the back of the net at 9:16. The Griffs’ Taylor Giglio followed with unassisted goal just one minute later before Cuddy capped the run with a free position goal at the six minute mark.
Canisius picked up the next draw control to create an offensive possession for the Griffs. Despite a shot from Allie Stewart, an impressive save by Stags’ goalkeeper Chelsey Sidaras (Mastic Beach, N.Y.) kept Fairfield ahead, 8-7. Fairfield cleared the ball and continued to work on offense for the next three minutes before Fehmel scored the final goal of the game, completing her hat trick, at 1:56.
In an attempt to boost their offensive, the Griffs pulled their goalie for the last minute and 56 seconds of play. Quinn grabbed the next draw control, but Canisius stole the ball after the Griffs’ Tori Greco forced a turnover. Following a timeout by Canisius, a turnover by Stewart, gave the ball back to the Stags with 34 seconds left in regulation. Fairfield maintained possession until the final buzzer, sealing a 9-7 victory for the Stags.
Fairfield slightly outshot Canisius 22-20 and had a slight 12-11 advantage in ground balls. Canisius took a slight 10-8 advantage in draw controls. For Fairfield, Reda scooped a game-high three ground balls while Courtney Chmil (Garden City, N.Y.) grabbed a team-high three draw controls for the Stags. Fairfield’s defense caused seven turnovers. Sidaras tallied eight saves while the Griffs’ Scully also recorded eight on the day.
The Stags will now advance to the 2015 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament for the first time since the 2009 campaign. Visit FairfieldStags.com and follow @FairfieldStags on Twitter for complete coverage.
ls while Courtney Chmil (Garden City, N.Y.) grabbed a team-high three draw controls for the Stags. Fairfield’s defense caused seven turnovers. Sidaras tallied eight saves while the Griffs’ Scully also recorded eight on the day.
The Stags will now advance to the 2015 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament for the first time since the 2009 campaign.