On a sunny 60 degree Saturday afternoon, the Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team captured a much-needed win over Hofstra 19-14. Senior Riley Hellstein wreaked havoc on the Hofstra defense with seven goals and one assist. Junior Brenna Connolly and Taylor Mitchell ‘19 each had three goals a piece while seniors Scarlett Sulliman, Alex Fehmel and Kathleen Hulseman ‘19 added two goals as well.
Hellstein’s seventh goal of the game was her 100th career goal, an impressive milestone for a player whose had multiple injuries in her past few seasons. “Coming back from [last year’s] injury I was just hopeful to be able to play again. Getting my 100th goal was a nice surprise to say the least,” said the Agawam, Mass. native.
Hellstein’s will to win was noticeable from the start, as the Stags had failed to secure a victory in their first three games of the season. With 20:43 left in the first half, Hellstein caught fire, scoring four consecutive goals to keep Fairfield only behind by one (4-5). Sophomore Erin Mammele also performed well from the moment the game began. She had a career day, tying the program record with eight draw controls in only her fourth career start.
It was a very even matchup on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. One team would score and the other team would answer right away with a goal of their own. A critical interception made by Stags defender Erin Bauman ‘18 with under 30 seconds left in the first half helped Fairfield eliminate Hofstra’s scoring chance and take a 9-8 lead into the locker room.
The Stags came into the second half with the same killer instinct they showcased in the first. Both teams were tied at 11 with 20:48 left before a Hellstein goal helped Fairfield go on a 3-0 run to push away from the Pride.
Precision passing and a minimal number of fouls allowed Fairfield to capture the lead and never relinquish it. “Our pregame energy was huge today. We’ve come into the last couple of games a bit lackadaisical. We need to keep this energy up and the whole team played amazing,” said Hellstein.
A win like this undoubtedly builds up the Stags’ confidence going forward in their season. Fairfield’s next matchup will be on Sunday, March 5 at noon on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium against the University of New Hampshire. The Wildcats come into Fairfield, Conn. looking for revenge as the Stags beat them 16-6 in Durham, N.H. last season.