Women's lacrosse set for MAAC Championship as top-seed

Image: Women's lacrosseFor the fifth time in six seasons the Fairfield University women's lacrosse team will head to Mazzella Field, on the campus of Iona College, in search of a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Lacrosse League Championship crown. The Stags are the top-seed in the four-team tournament which begins on Friday, April 29 and concludes on Sunday, May 1.

For all of your championship information, including tickets, and viewing options, visit MAAC Championship Central. All three games of the MAAC Championship will be web-streamed live, for $5.95 per game, while livestats will also be available free of charge. 

Fairfield posted its fourth consecutive undefeated (6-0) MAAC regular season campaign to earn the top-seed. The Stags will play the fourth-seed, and tournament host, Iona in the second semifinal on Friday, with game time slated for 2:30 p.m. The first semifinal will feature the second-seed, Canisius, and third-seed, Siena, with the game beginning at noon.

The Stags have now won 24 consecutive regular season games against conference opponents and are the first team to ever win four consecutive regular season titles. Fairfield has won eight regular season crowns, more than the rest of the league (7) combined.

The Stags, 12-4 overall, have played just three games all-time in MAAC Tournament play against the other three teams in the 2011 field and are 3-3 all-time in MAAC Tournament's played at Iona. Fairfield defeated Iona 11-8 in the semifinals of the 2008 championship, also at Mazzella Field, and defeated Siena 20-4 in last year's semifinal, at Marist. Canisius earned a 16-12 win over the Stags in the 2006 semifinal, at Mazzella Field. 

Fairfield and Iona played in the regular season finale for both teams, a game the Stags won 12-6 at Iona on April 21. Melanie Raso scored five points, including the game-winning tally, while classmate Jenna Slowey touched net three times and added an assist.

Friday afternoon's meeting will be the ninth between the Stags and Gaels, with Fairfield perfect at 8-0. The first meeting came in New Rochelle in 2005, a 14-13 Stags victory in that seasons regular season finale. Fairfield is now 5-0 in games played versus Iona at Mazzella Field.

The Stags also earned regular season wins over Canisius, 12-8, at home and 19-4 over Siena on the road in the MAAC opener. Fairfield is now 11-3 all-time versus the Griffs, having won five straight meetings since the Griffs MAAC Tournament win in 2006. The Stags are 15-1 all-time against Siena, with seven straight wins. The only Fairfield loss in that series came during the 2005 regular season, 14-12.

Senior Katie Mackay enters tournament play as the Stags leading scorer with 49 points. She has scored 29 goals, with three game-winners, and leads the squad with 20 assists. Sophomore Chloe Mangan is the Stags leading goal scorer, touching net 34 times, on her way to being second on the team with 46 points.

Sophomore Katie Keenan ranks 19th in the nation this season with an 8.96 goals-against average. She began the week with a 9.35 career GAA, which is 11th among active Division I goalkeepers. Keenan begins tournament play with 102 saves in her 917 minutes of action in net.

Fairfield's defense is allowing just 9.19 goals per game to its opponents, which is the 19th best scoring defense in the country. Graduate student Renee L'Heureux and senior Brittany Bare have helped that effort both having caused a team-high 18 turnovers on the year. Bare has scooped up a team-best 33 ground balls as well as controlling 24 draws. Raso has a team-best 40 draw controls this year, which is tied for fifth-best in a Stags single-season.

The winner of the MAAC Tournament will advance to an NCAA Play-In Game with the champion of the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament.  That game will be played either May 7 or May 8 at the home field of the Atlantic-10 champion.  The Atlantic-10 conference tournament is being played this weekend as well at Temple University.  Massachusetts is the top-seed in the tournament, followed by Richmond, Temple and Duquense. 

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Media Contact: Jack Jones, (203) 254-4116

Posted on April 27, 2011

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