Sometimes you can’t just be good; you also have to be lucky.
And the Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse team has not found good fortune so far in their 2011 campaign. The squad split a pair of contests last week, dropping their record to 6-5 on the year and 2-2 in the ECAC division.
They always say ‘you are what your record says you are,’ but this Fairfield team would tend to disagree.
The one goal loss to #20 Loyola last Saturday has been consistent with the theme of their season: the Stags have now dropped four decisions by a combined five goals. A break here or there in those few games could have changed the pressure-filled situation that the Stags now find themselves in.
“[If you win those games] you’re 9-1 and everyone is talking about Fairfield being in the top 10,” third year head coach Andy Copeland said.
The Loyola game was just another chapter in the book of heartbreaks that has been the 2011 season.
“There were a lot of tears in that locker room after the game. Our job as coaches right now is to just get our guys back,” Copeland said.
The Stags traveled to Baltimore to play the 20th best team in the nation in the Greyhounds, a team that Fairfield has beaten only once in 14 tries. Yet, they forced overtime and had several chances to leave with a victory.
“We had a feeling it was going to be a one goal game all week and we practiced a lot of different situational stuff. Unfortunately it didn’t translate,” Copeland said.
With the season winding down, a win over the team that is directly behind the Stags in the standings would have put them in a better playoff position. And as Coach Copeland put it, “Now these conference games are going to have a whole lot of meaning.”
The team is now clinging to a playoff spot with two more conference game still yet to be played. Both of those contests will be played on the road.
With the season coming to a close, there is more anxiety among the players than there should be.
“There is more pressure than I would have liked there to have been at this point,” Copeland said. At least the team doesn’t have to start from scratch and Coach Copeland realizes this.
“We are very, very close. We don’t need drastic changes right now we just got to continue what we’re doing and try to improve,” he said.
A mere five goals have separated Fairfield from becoming a top 10 team in the nation.
“We just have to stay the course and just know we’re so close,” Copeland said.
This will be a true test for the team. What is their true character? Can they handle the pressure? Good teams find a way to win they need it most. Well, Coach Copeland and the Men’s Lacrosse team needs it now.
“Just look at UCONN’s run in the NCAA basketball tournament,” he said. “A lot of times teams that advance are the teams that need to persevere through some of these rough patches and teams that can peak at the right time.”