They have already made history. The Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse team is 7-1, off to the best start the program has seen, and recently had the longest win streak of any Stags lacrosse squad. But they still think they can do better.
“We’re still a work in progress,” fourth year head coach Andy Copelan said. “I wouldn’t say we’re hitting on all cylinders quite yet…when you get into the meat of your schedule and you play some very talented teams they’re going to make you pay for those mistakes.”
The Stags hit their first bump in the road as they picked up their first loss against #12 Colgate. However, as of today Fairfield is ranked 16th in the nation and have already gotten off to the best start in Fairfield history.
“I’m proud to be a part of this team that’s setting records,” Copelan said.
On paper it looks like this team has the pieces in place to make that historic run that they have been waiting for. Last year the Stags finished the regular season with an average record of 8-8.
However, they did end the season by losing to an eventual Final Four team in Denver in the ECAC title game, which was the first time ever that the Stags made the final game. That alone shows that the Stags do have the talent in place.
A big weakness for that squad however was at the faceoff X. In 2010, Fairfield won only 38 percent of their faceoffs. So far this year they have been victorious in over 68 percent. And it has been because of Marshall Johnson and Mike Roe.
“I trust those guys a whole lot,” Copelan said. “It’s nice to have faith in guys, one who are talented and two they have the ability to adjust.”
Roe, a transfer from Drexel, has already won two ECAC Specialist of the Week awards and is third nationally in faceoff percentage.
“It’s huge,” senior goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano said. “Last year we lost five games by a goal. That all comes down to possessions, and for Mike to be winning them, we are getting the ball a lot more.”
Roe is one of the many first year players on this squad that has made an immediate impact. The Stags recruiting class was ranked 20th in all of America and they have been helped by the strong senior leadership that this group possesses.
“I’ve never played on a team that has had seniors like this,” Roe said. “All across the board they are amazing leaders and great kids to just be around….like we always say when we break the huddle: it’s a family.”
The reigning ECAC goalkeeper of the year, Charlie Cipriano, is one of those seniors who have helped to make that adjustment easier. “Nothing against those other teams, we had awesome teams in the past but I feel that our seniors have matured a lot more,” he said.
Having the seniors helping the freshmen and getting contributions from every player on the roster shows how deep and close this team can be.
“That’s a sign of a great team,” Mike Roe said. “When someone is not having a great day everyone is there to support them and someone is there to step up.”
They might be 16th in the country and supporting the best starting record ever, but this squad knows that they are not close to achieving their ultimate goal.
“We’re confident but we still know it’s a long season and we have a lot of work to do,” Cipriano said. And if they keep focused and keep improving, they just might make more history.