An overcast day at Rafferty Stadium set the scene for a downright beatdown in front of the Fairfield faithful as the Villanova Wildcats marched right into Stag Country and dominated the red and white to the tune of an 18-9 victory. Superb goalie play combined with an outstanding offensive attack lifted the Wildcats to a easy win on Saturday, March 25.

Villanova took control of the game from the outset as the visitors would tally five markers in the game’s first six minutes to take a commanding 5-0 lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the first period. But the Stags would respond with a trio of goals themselves, led by back to back goals from Travis Ford ‘20 and another marker by Drew Murray ‘18. At 5-3, it seemed as though Fairfield was ready to settle in and make this a competitive contest, but the Wildcats thought otherwise.

After heading into the second quarter holding a 7-3 advantage, Villanova would cap off their second five-goal run of the game to take a 10-3 lead with 11 minutes to play in the quarter. Murray would score the Stags’ lone goal of the second period as Fairfield went into the locker room facing an insurmountable 12-4 deficit.

Freshman Dylan Beckwith tallied a goal on Saturday for his eighth marker of the season. Alfredo Torres/The Mirror

A pair of goals from standout Colin Burke ‘19 and another tally from Dylan Beckwith ‘20 garnered six goals for the Stags at 13-7 with six minutes to play in the third quarter, but that would be the closest Fairfield would come for the rest of the game.

Villanova would again go on a five goal tear to stretch their lead to 18-7 with a few minutes remaining in the fourth quarter until Murray and Burke would find the back of the net in the remaining minutes to bring the game’s final score to 18-9.

“We just did not play well enough to beat a really quality team,” head coach Andy Copelan said. “We were a little unfortunate with hitting a few pipes and then their goalie made some great saves. Sometimes you go down the way you did and things can spiral sideways a little bit and you saw some of that today.”

Despite the tough loss to a bitter rival, Copelan’s bunch looks to improve upon their now 3-6 record when they welcome Hofstra to Rafferty Stadium next Saturday, April 1 for a 7 p.m. game to begin conference play. If there’s one thing Copelan wants to instill in his players for next weekend, it is confidence.

“Right now they are not a confident group of guys,” Copelan said about his team. “I do not know if it is the schedule we have played or what not but it is a pretty demoralized group of guys right now, so we have to focus on us and work through some of the stickiness right now.”

As for the significance of the team’s upcoming spring stretch, Copelan did not mince words.

“We are staring at a mini five game season right now with everything on the line.”

Information Compiled by Sports Information Desk



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