The Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team looked to change their luck as they welcomed Colonial Athletic Association foe Hofstra Pride to Rafferty Stadium on Saturday, April 1. Coming off competitive matches against No. 20 ranked Yale and No. 2 Penn State, Fairfield looked to turn the tide with a win against the Pride. Fairfield would win the shot and faceoff battles in the game, but it was not enough, as Hofstra picked up the 8-4 win.
The Stags came out strong as they forced an early turnover, resulting in a goal by Dylan Beckwith ‘20 two minutes into the game. Hofstra’s first goal would come moments after Colin Burke ‘19 was given a penalty, as Hofstra’s Ryan Tierney would bury a shot past Fairfield’s goalie Tyler Behring ‘17. That was the story of the first half, as Hofstra capitalized on Fairfield’s miscues.
Fairfield would cut an early deficit to 3-2 after Hofstra scored three goals to start the game. Freshman Travis Ford would use a spin-move to score a goal. But Hofstra would go on yet another 3-0 run, shutting out the Stags in the second quarter. Junior Dylan Alderman, Tanner Griffin ‘18 and Josh Byrne ‘17 all scored to create the cushion for Hofstra. A key penalty kill would find the Stags trailing 6-2 at the half. Hofstra would get goals from five different players to create the lead.
The second half would not start well for the Stags, as Alex Moeser ‘18 would score with 1:25 left in the half to increase the Hofstra lead to five. The rest of the third quarter would be a defensive stalemate as the two sides would trade shots, but goalies, Behring of Fairfield and Jack Concannon of the Pride, would make some tremendous saves to leave the score at 7-2 heading into the fourth quarter.
“I really thought that their goalie was the difference tonight,” said Fairfield head coach Andy Copelan. “We got shut out in the second and third quarters and some of that was the hot goalie.”
Hofstra would attempt to put the game away, as Jimmy Yanes would find the back of the net at the 12:21 mark, but Fairfield would not go quietly, as Drew Murray ‘18 would respond with a goal just 35 seconds later to keep the deficit at five.
The Stags would continue to roar back as Joe Rodriguez ‘18 and Beckwith scored less than a minute apart to cut the deficit to three with just over seven minutes to play.
A costly penalty by the Stags would result in another goal by Moeser, increasing the Pride lead to four and securing the win. Rodriguez would add another goal, but Hofstra would top the Stags.
“We are 3-7 and 0-1 in conference, so you cannot really say you are in a great place,” said Copelan. “This is going to be some desperate lacrosse next Saturday. There are two teams in us and Drexel that need a win after starting 0-1, so if we put forth our best effort I really like our chances.”
The Stags look to get back on the win column later this week when they travel to Pennsylvania to face-off against Drexel. That game is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 at 4 p.m. at Vidas Field in Philadelphia.