With just five games remaining in the season, the Fairfield’s men’s lacrosse team is working to figure themselves out, and get into a winning position for the Colonial Athletic Association Championship.
After winning just two of their first seven games in the 2016 season, the Stags are winners of two of their last three contests. The team has scored 34 goals over those games, their highest total over a three-game streak this season.
On Saturday, March 19, the Stags faced off on the road against defending Patriot League Champion Colgate, and won 12-7. Senior midfielder TJ Neubauer netted four goals, and attack Colin Burke ‘19 totaled five points, consisting of four goals and an assist. The Stags have now beaten the Raiders for the second consecutive season.
The team then returned to Rafferty Stadium on Tuesday, March 22 to take on fellow Connecticut school, Quinnipiac. The Stags were able to overcome the Bobcats 13-7, as Neubauer and Burke totaled nine of the goals. Junior goalkeeper Tyler Behring allowed a season-low seven goals for the second straight game and made eight saves.
The Stags then went on to face Villanova, the number six team in the nation, on Saturday, March 26 for their final non-conference contest of the season. Looking to get back to a .500 percent winning record, the team fell to the Wildcats 15-9. Burke put up yet another solid effort by scoring four more goals, thus improving on his CAA points lead at 26. Midfielder Charlie Schnider ‘16 also dished out two assists, increasing his CAA lead to 19 assists.
Burke, already seeming like a veteran and leader of the team, has received his third CAA weekly award. This past week, he was named the CAA Rookie of the Week after scoring eight points in the team’s final two non-conference games of the season.
Burke is chasing a pair of Fairfield Athletics Hall of Famers in the Stags’ men’s lacrosse record book. Spencer Steele ’00 scored a rookie-record 38 goals in 1997, while the program’s overall freshman scoring record belongs to J.T. Groarke ’99, who racked up 53 points (26 goals, 27 assists) in 1996. Currently at 26 goals and 34 points, Burke has five more games to chase these milestones.
With a lackluster 4-6 out-of-conference record, the Stags will have to prove themselves in the CAA conference games, starting Saturday, April 2 against Hofstra on the road.