The men’s lacrosse team claimed its greatest win in the history of the program on the road at South Bend with an 11-10 victory over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The win improves the Stags to 7-4 overall, and also clinched them their first-ever Great Western Lacrosse League title to gain automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Ted Spencer was ecstatic following the victory last Sunday. “We’ve hit some incredible goals this year, beating 15th ranked Brown, 13th ranked Ohio State, and now winning away to Notre Dame,” he said.
“To beat Notre Dame in any sport is a huge accomplishment,” Spencer said. “To beat them for the league championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament makes this the biggest win ever for our program.”
Fairfield held off a four-goal Notre Dame rally in the final six minutes for the win. Junior Matt Buecker led the Stags with three goals, including the game winner, while sophomore Garrett Bamann added two goals and an assist. Following the game Notre Dame fell to 4-7 overall and 3-1 in the GWLL.
Fairfield is now looking forward to their home game against North Carolina this weekend and the NCAA tournament.
Are the Stags satisfied with their season? “Absolutely not,” said Spencer. “We might be the first team from Fairfield to ever win an NCAA tournament game. That will be our goal. We want to win. We want to beat North Carolina this weekend and be one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament.”
Notre Dame began its fourth-quarter comeback following Buecker’s goal off of a feed from Troy Bamann which put Fairfield up 11-6 with 7:29 remaining in the game. Junior Kyle Frigon netted his only score on the afternoon off an assist from freshman Matt Malakoff to pull the Irish to within three goals with 5:58 left in the game. Flandina tallied his third goal in the game at the 4:17 mark and then Wells followed with his third score with 3:32 remaining.
Notre Dame had a few opportunities in the closing minutes, but the Irish committed a couple of costly turnovers and Fairfield was able to run out the clock.
The Stags began the game by jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Tom Werney and Garrett Bamann in the first four minutes.
Fairfield will find out who they play in the NCAAs on May 5, the tournament’s selection day.
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