Since their last-second victory against Navy last Tuesday, the Fairfield men’s lacrosse team has suffered two straight tough losses, with yesterday’s loss coming in the form of a 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the Hofstra Pride at Alumni Field.
Hofstra opened up the scoring about three and a half minutes into the first quarter, and the Stags answered a minute and a half later with a man-up goal by Nick Guida ’15 set up by senior captain Sam Snow. After that goal, the Stags offense went about as cold as the weather was, going until 55 seconds left in the third quarter without a goal. Junior Jordan Greenfield scored off Snow’s second assist of the contest, bringing Fairfield back within three goals at 5-2.
Hofstra would score one more time in the third quarter to bring their lead back to four. In the fourth, Fairfield was kept off the board completely, and Hofstra was able to put the game out of reach with three more goals in the final five minutes.
It was the most lopsided loss for Fairfield since the ECAC Championship, where they lost to eventual national champion Loyola, 14-7. The last time the Stags lost by seven or more goals in the regular season was back in 2010, when Fairfield lost at Maryland 17-4. It is the worst home loss for Fairfield since 2008 when they lost to Loyola 13-4, a season before current Head Coach Andy Copelan took over.
After the game, Copelan was seemingly at a loss for words at not only the performance of his team, but how well the visiting Hofstra team played as well.
“To be honest with you, and no disrespect to any of our other opponents, but Hofstra was the best team we’ve played to date. They were very good. I thought they played mistake free for the most part,” said Copelan. “They were really impressive defensively … they just outplayed us.”
Copelan commented on the state of the offense the team has been playing so far, saying that they are going to have to “fix some things.”
“I wish I could say that we’ve been playing good offense to date and today was just a little blip in the radar, but that hasn’t been the case,” said Copelan. “I’m not sure that we’ve really established a great rhythm offensively since the beginning of the year.”
One bright spot for the Stags from the game may have come from goalie Jack Murphy ‘14, who had 13 saves in the loss, marking his third straight game with 13 saves or more. Murphy won ECAC Defensive Player of the Week last week, the second consecutive week he has won that award.
“The last thing I said to the guys in the locker room was that we need our ‘better offensive players” to play like better offensive players, and they need to produce,” said Copelan, “because you’re not going to win very many ball games when you only score two goals.”
This performance came after a tough 10-9 loss at North Carolina, where Fairfield had at one point a four point lead. Snow led all Stags with three points, including two goals, but a five-goal performance from the Tar Heels’ Marcus Holman carried UNC to the come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter.
From the two loses, Copelan said that he wants to improve the Stags’ half field offense in order to help them score more effectively, and is motivated knowing that his players are just as hungry for a win as he is.
“I feel like I know the guys that we got in this locker room right now, and I know that we’ll just tackle it the right way, and get back to work tomorrow, trying to continue improving,” said Copelan. “It’s a long season, and it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.”
Fairfield’s next game is at home this Saturday at 1 p.m. against the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers at Alumni Field.
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