Fairfield’s women’s lacrosse team has secured a second seed in the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, earning them a bye to the semifinal round of the tournament. Heading into the tournament with seven wins and one loss, the Stags continue to be one of the top leaders in the MAAC, trailing closely behind MAAC foe the Canisius Golden Griffins.

The Golden Griffins have been one of Fairfield’s biggest opponents for several seasons. Last season, in the regular season series, the team was able to clinch a share of the MAAC regular season co-championship title after they took down the Griffs 11-9. After both teams advanced to the MAAC tournament, Canisius forced Fairfield out of the semifinal round of the tournament as they took back the win 12-10.

This season, the Stags were eager to get back to where they left off last season. In a preseason poll, Fairfield was voted to finish third in the MAAC, but they have proved to the tournament that they’re in it for the long haul this season.

Fairfield was undefeated until the Golden Griffs were able to swipe the Stags of their perfect record yet again on Senior Day at Rafferty Stadium. It was a tough loss for the entire team, as they were only taken down by one point.

Despite the loss, the team regained their momentum when they took down another MAAC foe, Monmouth. On Wednesday, April 15, Riley Hellstein ‘17 lifted her team to an 8-7 win against the Hawks as she scored the game winning goal with 9.8 seconds left in regulation time. The win against the Hawks secured Fairfield second place in the MAAC standings, putting Monmouth at third as they finished out their season, 6-2, with two losses from Canisius and Fairfield.

Fairfield finished out their season with an 18-3 win over Quinnipiac. The win over Quinnipiac allowed the Stags to secure the second seed in the tournament, while Canisius’ undefeated record has earned them the number one seed. Both Fairfield and Canisius earned byes in the semifinal rounds, but the remaining four teams began play last weekend to determine who the leaders would face in the semifinals.

In a surprising end, number five Marist defeated number four Siena 11-10. Marist will advance to the semifinal round of the tournament, taking on the Golden Griffs. Fairfield will be forced to play Monmouth yet again, as the number three Hawks defeated number six Niagara 14-9. Fairfield is set to take on Monmouth on Friday, May 1.

If Fairfield is able to top Monmouth, they will be taking on either Marist or Canisius in the championship round game.

For Marist, Canisius will be a tough team to beat. Last season, Canisius earned their fourth consecutive MAAC championship title, defeating the Red Foxes 11-9 in the championship round.

Fairfield is looking to advance past the semifinals and head to the championship round, regardless of who they will be taking on. The team wants to get the win for themselves, their seniors and for their head coach, Mike Waldvogel, who will be resigning from his position at the conclusion of this season.

Taking it one game at a time, the Stags will take on Monmouth, this Friday, May 1 in Buffalo, N.Y. The game can be streamed live through ESPN3.

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