On Tuesday Feb. 27, Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse arrived at Rafferty Stadium to take on Hartford University. The Stags entered the day with a record of 1-2 and Hartford entered the day at 0-1. Head Coach Andy Copeland and company were excited to take the field to get back in the win column.
The first half belonged to the Stags, holding a three goal advantage on two different occasions in the first half. In the first half Fairfield recorded 29 shots while Hartford registered 12, which seemingly gave the advantage to Fairfield. The Stags had plenty of opportunities to score, and in the first half they capitalized, but that momentum could not be maintained.
The second half belonged to the Hartford Hawks. Hartford outshot Fairfield in the third quarter, 14-7, which already started to spell the end of the Stags momentum. Out of the 14 shots, 10 were on goal which translated to seven goals in the third period alone. The Hawks flew away from the Stags, creating a four-goal lead after being down one goal at halftime. The Hawks then soared to victory.
It was too little, too late for Fairfield as they lost 16-11 and fell to 1-3 on the season. One bright spot for the Stags was Dylan Beckwith ‘20, who recorded four goals with two assists. Sophomore Joe Rodrigues and Charlie Curran ’21 both added hat tricks as they showed off their offensive prowess. Freshman Alex Smith for Hartford scored five goals as senior Justin Huggins added four more goals.
Head Coach Andy Copelan has seen his team tested this season and he wants his team working on mental toughness.
“I like our team, but I don’t like the way we are playing. I don’t like the way we’re responding to adversity right now. I wish we were a bit tougher mentally than we have proven to be on gameday. I am trying to get to the root of where that is coming from and it is concerning to me” said Copelan.
The ninth-year head coach knows his team is going through a mix of emotions, including a disheartened morale.
“Hey, guys are angry. We all want the same thing at the end of the day. Being 1-3, I think they’ll respond by hopefully practicing a little bit better and try to turn the page. But there are no guarantees in this thing. College lacrosse is really hard right now and if you don’t bring it, you can eat some humble-pie. We have had a fair share of humble-pie this far,” said Copelan.
The Men’s Lacrosse head coach made it evident that he wants his players to turn the page when they play Stony Brook University at home, but he is not denying the fact there is a matter distracting his players.
“There are some deeper rooted issues going on that I was unaware of, and I think sometimes losing can bring out the worst in people. We saw that a little bit of that today, so I want everyone to clear their heads and move on productively” said Copelan.