They jogged on the field briskly with an added sense of urgency, flanked by a man donning a black raincoat and boasting a whistle and a clipboard. The group paused for a moment, huddled by the moist wet turf and then, for the next four minutes, proceeded to attempt faceoffs.
Again, and again, and again, as an assistant men’s lacrosse coach for Ohio State watched, critiques, and gazed upward looking for answers.
Faceoff success – Fairfield faceoff specialist Steve Golmont won 16 of the 22 faceoffs he attempted – and the a dominant time of possession was crucial, but it was far from the only thing that went right for Fairfield in the Stags’10-8 win over Ohio State this past Tuesday at Alumni Field.
“We had a lot of contributions from a lot of different people,” head coach Andy Copelan said. “We just kept grinding. We played as a unit. We slid. We recovered. We cut off angles.”
“We’re just one of those teams that, the more guys play, the better we perform,” he added.
Aside from the Golmont’s strong game, the Stags’ young offense continued to showed signs of development and was yet again the impetus behind a team victory.
Senior midfielder Kevin Peters scored the first goal of the game to give the Stags an early lead and finished the game with a pair of goals. Freshman attackman Sam Snow, who already boasts two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Rookie of the Week awards so far this season, scored yet again, extending his streak of scoring a goal every game this season.
Nonetheless, the biggest goal of the game belonged to freshman Marshall Johnson, who scored the third goal of his collegiate career at a most opportune time. The game-securing goal came with 3:49 remaining in regulation to stretch the Stags’ lead to two to end Ohio State’s comeback attempt in the game’s waning minutes.
Despite a late flurry of goals from the Buckeyes, goalkeeper Joe Marra stopped ten shots, his third consecutive double-digit save effort, continuing his renaissance season. Of all of his saves on the afternoon, none was bigger than a second period save on a pointblank shot from Ohio State attackman Zach Rodgers’ just feet from the net, inciting a
Marra, the reigning NEILA Player of the Week, has recorded 43 goals in a two-week span.
“We knew it was our first ECAC game of the season and, as far as we were concerned, it was the most important game of the year to date,” Marra said of the win. “But we’re really just trying to stay the course right now, (and) really take it one game at a time.”
Marra, though, was quick to deflect praise, and pointed out that the win was just as much a byproduct of the team’s defense as its ten-goal effort.
“The defense has really been helping me out,” Marra said. “Tonight, they were sliding, they were cutting angles. They really gave me great looks.”
The victory marks the team’s first win over Ohio State since 2005. It is also the team’s third consecutive win and its first conference victory of the season.
The Stags return to action this Saturday against Hobart, another conference home game against a daunting opponent. The Statesmen, despite a 2-4 record, boast wins over Colgate and Binghamton and, in its most recent game, took Syracuse to overtime before falling, 8-9.

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