Stags Surge Past Host UMass Lowell, 8-7

Beckwith racks up two goals and an assist

LOWELL, Mass. – The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team scored five of the last goals of the game to come away with an 8-7 victory on Tuesday afternoon at UMass Lowell. Dylan Beckwith scored two goals with one assist for the Stags, and Travis Ford capped his two-goal day with the game-winning marker in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Alex Wagner added a goal and an assist for Fairfield (2-2), as freshmen accounted for five of the Stags’ eight goals. Joe Rodrigues, Jake Knostman and Colin Burke also rattled the cage for Fairfield, with Burke also handing out an assist. The 2017 CAA Preseason Player of the Year extended his point-scoring streak to 21 consecutive games – a run that encompasses his entire career.

Will Fox helped control the game on the draw, posting a 14-of-19 mark with nine ground balls. Wagner added five ground balls while Beckwith and Matt Borda collected four apiece.

In the cage, Brad Nordstrom made his first start since 2015 and came away with 10 saves to earn the win. The Fairfield defense in front of Nordstorm was guided by two ground balls and two caused turnovers from freshman Andrew Murrow and a pair of ground balls collected by Andrew Eidenshink.

After falling behind 2-0, the Stags tied the game late in the first quarter as Beckwith and Wagner each banged home a goal to knot the contest at 2-2. After a man-up marker put the River Hawks back in front, 3-2, Rodrigues converted to tie the score with 12:52 remaining in the opening half.

UMass Lowell (1-3) climbed in front, 5-3, with back-to-back goals but Fairfield once again struck to tie the contest before the quarter came to a close. Once again, it was Beckwith who started the action with a goal followed by Ford rattling the cage in the final minute of the half to send the contest into the intermission tied at 5-5.

Fairfield’s run continued out of the break as Knostman’s third goal of the spring staked the Stags to their first lead of the day, 6-5, with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter. After being kept of the scoreboard for more than 17 minutes of game time, the River Hawks ended their drought and tied it up at 6-6 heading into the fourth quarter.

UMass Lowell struck first in the final frame to grab a 7-6 advantage but would not score again as the Stags made their final push to take the victory. First, Burke sprinted from behind the cage and sent home a sprawling attempt to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:55 to play. Then, with 3:25 left, Ford fired home his second of the afternoon to put Fairfield on top, 8-7. The Stags made two defensive stops down the stretch to preserve their second victory of the spring.

The River Hawks were led by three goals and an assist from Sean Tyrrell, with Jon Phillips adding three points (one goal, two assists) off the bench. Grant Lardieri made 16 saves in the cage for UMass Lowell.

The Stags have two trips to challenge nationally-ranked opponents on deck with visits to No. 18 Stony Brook on Saturday, March 4 and No. 7 Yale on Saturday, March 11. Fairfield returns to Rafferty Stadium to host Cleveland State on Wednesday, March 15 at 3 p.m. on FairfieldStags.TV.