Saturday afternoon’s seesaw weather was indicative of Fairfield’s performance versus Marist. The Stags started off fast, at one point in the first period leading 5-2 before going into the break tied at six. But in the second half, they could not stop a relentless Red Fox offensive attack that was on its way to a commanding 12-8 victory.

From the start, it looked as though Fairfield had control of the game’s tempo. Multiple methodical first half possessions led to quality shots on goal, three of which ringed off the crossbar. Julieanne Mascera ‘16 and Colleen Reynolds ‘16 each added a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes to keep pace with the Stags while goalkeeper Chelsey Sidaras ‘16 made five saves.

With only ten seconds remaining in the first half, one play in particular changed the entire momentum of the game. With the Stags leading 6-5, a penalty was called on Sidaras that gave Marist a free position shot. The fans at Rafferty Stadium were befuddled, as the penalty looked as though it should have been called on the Marist player.

“It was an offsetting foul where it was a foul on them and an offsides on us” said Fairfield’s head coach Laura Field. “It was a quirky call, but it was the correct call and it cost us a goal.”

As the second 30 minute period commenced, it was clear that Marist came out of the break as the hungrier team. The Red Foxes scored the first two goals of the period to take a 8-6 lead. Jenna Fuchs ‘16 would find the back of the net to cut the lead to one, but Marist continued its unyielding attack on the offensive end rifling off the next three goals to give them an 11-7 advantage with just minutes to go.

Fuchs hit for another goal to make the deficit 11-8 and place the Stags within striking distance, but Marist put the game away with 90 seconds to play with one last goal to end the game at 12-8.

A considerable reason why Marist was able to subdue a usually strong Stag offensive effort was their ability to slow down star midfielder Riley Hellstein ‘17. Hellstein, who came into the contest with 30 goals on the season, was held to only one goal and an assist on the afternoon.

“She got some looks, but she just did not shoot well today,” Field said. “As a whole, we did not execute on offense well enough to give us the goals we needed. They were able to just keep building on their lead.”

Fairfield now stands at 0-1 in conference play and 4-6 overall in the season. The Stags look to bounce back and return to their winning ways against Iona on Wednesday, April 6 before they play at Rafferty on Saturday, April 9 to host Siena as part of Military Appreciation Day.

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