Looking to cement their place as one of the premier programs in the nation early in the season, Fairfield rolled into Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Feb. 11 ready to prove that being ranked No. 17 in the country was no fluke. Unfortunately, the Stags were dominated by the 15th ranked Richmond Spiders to the tune of a 15-3 drubbing in what was previewed as a marquee matchup before the game’s opening faceoff.
In the first quarter, things looked promising for the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament runners-up last year. Freshman midfielder Travis Ford notched his first career goal to the give the Stags a 1-0 lead early in the first quarter. After three-straight Spider goals, Preseason All-American Colin Burke ‘19 tallied his first goal of the season to make the score 3-2 with minutes left in the first period. Richmond would go on to score one more goal in the frame to end the first 15 minutes with a 4-2 advantage.
The second quarter was when Richmond really began to separate from the Stags. The home team would rattle off five-straight goals to end the half at 8-3. While Richmond was generating quality offense and producing good looks on goal, Fairfield was being stifled by a stingy Spider defense that would prove to be relentless all afternoon.
Coming out of the locker room with 30 minutes left to regain the lead, Fairfield’s hopes would immediately be dashed as Richmond came out firing in the third period. The Southerners notched four goals in the frame to take a 12-3 lead headed into the fourth quarter. After 45 minutes, the Stags just wanted to pack up and take the long ride back up I-95 home to Fairfield.
To add insult to injury, Richmond would tack on three more goals in the fourth quarter to end the game with a score of 15-3. Senior Nico Panepinto tallied the lone Fairfield goal in the second period amidst the scoring barrage from the Spiders. Senior goalie Tyler Behring added nine saves while Brad Nordstrom ‘18 chipped in five saves on the afternoon.
Fairfield looks to bounce back from a rough opening outing on Feb.18 when they head to Pennsylvania to take on Bucknell in a rematch of last year’s meeting at Rafferty Stadium, one which ended in a 13-8 loss for the Stags.