Stags knock off #2 Loyola 10-9 to advance to ECAC title game


 

Image: Men's LacrosseThe third-seeded Fairfield University men's lacrosse team scored the first three goals of the second-half and never trailed again as it earned a 10-9 win over second-seeded Loyola University Maryland in the first semifinal of the inaugural ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament at Peter Barton Stadium on the campus of the University of Denver. The victory improves the Stags to 8-7 on the year and advanced the program Saturday's championship final which is set for 11 a.m. MST on ESPNU.

Sam Snow struck with 7:20 to play, the Stags only man-up goal of the game, to give Fairfield a 10-7 advantage. Chris Basler scored with 6:21 to play and Mike Sawyer with 94 seconds remaining, but Fairfield's defense did not allow the equalizer.

The win is the Stags second in 13 all-time games with the Greyhounds. It also marks Fairfield's second win in a one-goal game this season, with a 2-4 mark in such games on the year.

John Snellman led the Stags offense with a hat trick, his second of the year, while Jordan Greenfield and Marshall Johnson both touched net twice.

Charlie Cipriano made 11 saves and Drew Palmer caused four turnovers as the Stags defense held its 10th opponent of the year to single-digit goals. Jake Hagelin made seven saves in net for Loyola.

Snellman tied the game 4-4 with 2:45 to play in the second-quarter and then started the scoring 2:16 into the third quarter to give the Stags a 5-4 advantage. It was the first of three consecutive goals for the Stags to start the period, with Johnson and Trunz both touching net, to extend the lead to 7-4 midway through the quarter.

Loyola would not go quietly however as Chris Palmer answered with consecutive goals to end the third a and begin the fourth quarter to get the Greyhounds within a goal, 7-6. Jordan Greenfield put the Stags back up two, 8-6, at the 12:15 mark, which was answered by Mike Sawyer 66 seconds later. Greenfield again provided a two goal margin at the 8:34 mark, with an assist from Trunz, to set-up Snow's game-winning tally 64 seconds later.

Loyola, which falls to 8-5, was led by the four-goal effort of Sawyor. Basler, David Putts and Chris Palmer all had three points, with Basler handing out a game-best two assists.

Sawyer opened the scoring eight seconds in, netting a pass from John Schiavone, who won the opening face. The Stags responded with consecutive unassisted goals. Marshall Johnson got the Stags on the board 5:40 into the quarter circling around the top of the crease and putting home the shot. Brent Adams put the Stags ahead 2-1 just shy of two minutes later driving to the near post and putting a shot inside the far post. Cipriano made a point blank save off the ensuing face-off to keep the Stags ahead 2-1, but Sawyer found the back of the net with 3:36 to play in the quarter, wrapping up the scoring for the period at 2-2.

Loyola won the opening face of the second-half, but Cipriano stopped a Palmer shot to get the Stags the ball back. Snellman broke through a double team and went around the back of the crease and put home his first goal tally of the day for a 3-2 lead. The Greyhounds drew even with their second man-up goal of the game, this one by Davis Butts, to knot the goal 3-3 with 5:49 to play before halftime. Butts put the Greyhounds ahead, 4-3, 75 seconds later with an unassisted tally.

Palmer took the ball away from a Loyola player behind the net and cleared the ball for the Stags before giving the ball to Sean Bannon in the attacking zone. Bannon flipped the ball to Snellman who put the ball in the back of the net with 2:45 before intermission, knotting the score 4-4.

Fairfield was outshot, 39-26, in the game, and Loyola won 17-23 face-offs and had a 31-19 advantage in ground balls. Loyola cleared the ball a perfect 11-11, while the Stags went 14-19. Fairfield did commit fewer turnovers, 15-13, and had a 10-6 edge in caused turnvers.

Fairfield head coach Andy Copelan and the head coach of the team that wins the second semifinal (#1 Denver vs. #4 Ohio State) will conduct pre-championship game press conferences on Friday beginning at 1:45 p.m. MST. The press conferences will be streamed live on Denver Athletics website.

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

Posted on May 5, 2011