On Saturday April 21, the Fairfield Stags Womens’ Lacrosse team faced off against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Canisius College in a crucial conference matchup. The Stags were looking for their ninth win of the season as Canisius was aiming to stay atop the conference. As the season is winding down, every conference win is tremendously important, especially for claiming a top seed. With a win, Fairfield would move into a tie for first place in the MAAC and they happened to do just that.
To start off the contest, Canisius’ Golden Griffs scored the first goal, thanks to a Lauren Smolensky ‘18 score with just over 26 minutes in the first half. It did not take long for Fairfield to even the score as Brenna Connolly ‘18 scored for the Stags about five minutes later, for her twenty-seventh goal of the year. This would be the first of four straight scores for Fairfield, where Taylor Mitchell ‘19 added back-to-back goals and Diana DeVita ‘21 added her own tally to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Stags.
More than halfway gone in the first half, Canisius’ Bryar Cummings ‘20 and Jen Reininger ‘18 scored consecutive goals to trim Fairfield’s lead to one. However, the Stags answered with three straight goals of their own, from DeVita, Kathleen Hulseman ‘19 and Kelly Horning ‘21, thus ending the first half with a 7-3 advantage over the Golden Griffs.
Canisius needed cut into this four score deficit so they came out with a relentless effort to start the second half. As not even two passed minutes in the half, the Golden Griffs began their comeback with a goal by Reininger, which was her second goal of the day. After that score, Cummings recorded her second tally of the game, just three minutes later to cut Fairfield’s lead to two. Quickly, attacker Allie Stewart ‘18 scored her first goal, which was assisted by Lauren Smolensky ‘18, of the day to pull Canisius within one. Attacker Jourdan Roemer ‘19 struck home the fourth consecutive score for the Golden Griffs to even the score with over 23 minutes left in the game.
Fairfield needed to respond and to respond fast, which midfielder Horning did on cue as she recorded her second goal of the day to give Fairfield an 8-7 lead. But Stewart had other plans as she answered in under a minute to make it a tie game once again.
The remaining 12 minutes of the game belonged to Fairfield as DeVita and Horning both registered hat tricks to give Fairfield a late lead. Brenna Connolly ‘18 iced the game with a score of her own to push the Stags’ lead to three with under one minute remaining. The two young scorers for Fairfield took over this conference matchup since both recipients were first-years.
Goalkeeper Paulina DiFatta ‘20 continued her strong season, making 12 saves while allowing eight goals. For Canisius, Rebecca VanLaeken ‘18 suffered the loss as she made 10 saves and allowed 11 goals.
The Stags wrap up their regular season when they travel to Riverdale, N.Y. to face Manhattan College on Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. as Fairfield is aiming to stay atop the MAAC and finish 10-6 in the regular season.