The Fairfield women’s lacrosse team is hopeful that the upcoming spring season will be a successful one. After falling short to Canisius 10-12 in the semifinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament last year, the team will look to win the MAAC Championship and finally make it back to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament this season.

Last season, the team was highly successful; they were named the co-champions of the MAAC regular season. The team ended the regular season 12-5, and 13 members of the team earned a spot on the MAAC All-Academic team, while seven of the members of the team earned postseason honors. Among those included are Melanie Raso ‘14 and Erinn Hogan ‘14, both graduates. Raso was a huge asset to the team, finishing out her career at Fairfield by scoring 173 points for the team. She is currently the program leader in draw controls, having won 153 of them during her time at Fairfield. This season, however, the Stags will need to learn to win without Raso. However, this shouldn’t be a huge obstacle to overcome due to the experience of the team.

According to the pre-season poll conducted by the coaches of the MAAC team, the Stags have been chosen to finish third in the MAAC. Senior Meghan Reda and Chelsey Sidaras ‘16 have both been named to the Preseason All-MAAC team. Now, in her senior year, Reda will be vital to the team’s success and her experience with the game, especially with defense, will be extremely beneficial. Reda is ranked 23rd in the nation with approximately 1.65 turnovers forced per game. She heads into the season being a strong defenseman for the team, with 48 ground balls and 37 draw controls.

As only a sophomore last season, Sidaras was an extremely successful goalkeeper. She posted 120 saves for the team and was ranked fifth nationally for goals against average (7.23). Sidaras currently holds the program record for allowing the least number of goals in a single game. Last season against Holy Cross, Sidaras only allowed a single goal. Now, as a junior, she’ll enter the net as starting goalkeeper for the Stags.

Both Reda and Sidaras will be key players for the team this spring, but the depth of the team is one of the many things that keep the Stags in the top three every MAAC season. Last season, the Stags had several rookies on the team who were beneficial to the team. Sophomore Riley Hellstein worked for her playing time and became one of the most successful rookies in program history, scoring a total of 27 goals for the team. With the 27 goals scored, Hellstein became the third leader for the team last spring, trailing closely behind recent graduates Raso and Jenna Slowey ‘14. Hellstein will continue to be a strong offensive piece for the Stags this upcoming spring.

Head Coach Mike Waldvogel, has unveiled the upcoming spring schedule for the team and the Stags will host 10 contests within the confines of the new Rafferty Stadium. The team will take on Sacred Heart in their first game at 3 p.m. on Feb. 14.


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