by Scott Apuzzo The field hockey team split two games over the weekend, but clinched a spot in the Northeast Conference tournament in their inaugural season in the conference. Fairfield locked up a playoff berth with a 6-0 victory over last place St. Francis last Friday. Allison Mays ’07 scored the first goal of the game at 2:55 on a pass from Kelly Rath ’06. Rath would then score a goal 11 minutes later. The goal was assisted by Katie Braden ’08. This is all the Stags needed to take care of St. Francis. Braden would add another goal before the half on a pass from Rath. The Stags scored three goals in a nine-minute span in the second half. Mays’ second goal of the game was assisted by Nicole Mazzocchi ’07. Not more than two minutes later, Mazzocchi scored off a penalty corner. Sam Heule ’08 and Lauren Pizzi ’05 assisted the goal. Pizzi put the end to St. Francis with another goal for the Stags. Freshmen Elizabeth Thomas and Lauren Callahan eached played one half in goal. They combined for the shutout and each had one save. Fairfield dominated the shot category 23-4. With the win, the Stags earned one of four spots in the NEC tournament. Rider, Sacred Heart and Monmouth also earned spots in the tournament. In the game against Lock Haven, Fairfield lost in overtime, 1-0, scoring at 71:36 off a penalty corner. Callahan gave up one goal and had seven saves. Lock Haven ended their season with an 18-1 record, but is ineligible to compete in the NEC tournament because of its two year compliance period after moving to Division I from Division II. Fairfield is 2-1 in overtime games this year. The Stags finished with a 7-12 record and 5-3 in the conference. The Stags final regular season game will be a prep game for the conference tournament. They play University of Connecticut, who is ranked seventh in the nation. Fairfield will head to Lawrenceville, N.J. for the NEC tournament this Friday. They are ranked second in the conference. They will face cross-town rival, third seeded Sacred Heart, who the Stags beat 4-3 in overtime, earlier this the season. “If we play with the same amount of heart and desire on Friday, as when we played them in September, we will be successful,” said Captain Andrea Caputa ’05. The Stags have had a great turnout by their freshman goalies. Callahan and Thomas have each earned NEC Rookie of the week this year and are both solid choices for Coach Leonard this weekend. “They both have great skills and have improved 110 percent since the first week of preseason. They push each other to work hard everyday and are a huge asset to our team,” said Pizzi. Pizzi stated that the biggest problem of the season for the Stags has been scoring. The Stags have been outscored 26 to 37, but all of the stats are erased and a new season begins this weekend. “We are really looking to peak this weekend, win the NEC championship, and go into the NCAA play-in game with a lot of confidence,” said Caputa.

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