On Thursday, March 29 the Fairfield University Women’s Lacrosse team picked up their second consecutive victory after defeating visiting conference foe, Niagara Purple Eagles, 13-10. With the win, the Stags are off to a 2-0 start in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Fairfield’s victory was highlighted by their defense as they held Niagara through a crucial scoreless stretch of over 20 minutes. While the Stags’ defense was effective on the field, Fairfield’s offensive line also played a role in the victory.
The beginning of the first half would see a seesaw battle between both teams as they exchanged goals, battling to take the upper hand. Just two minutes into the start of the game, Fairfield scored the game’s first goal off the stick of Kathleen Hulseman ‘19, her 15th of the season, giving them a one goal lead. Niagara would answer back by scoring three consecutive goals to give the Purple Eagles the 3-1 edge. After goals by Kelly Horning ‘21 and Brenna Connolly ‘18, her first of two on the day, the Stags would tie the game up at three with less than 18 minutes remaining in the first half of play. Fairfield would then go on a scoring run to close out the half as they went on to score three goals while Niagara only registered one. The Stags would close out the first quarter heading into halftime with a 6-4 advantage.
The second half of the game would be all Fairfield as they came out the gates firing, scoring four consecutive goals to start the half giving them a 10-4 lead. Fairfield’s four goals would come off the sticks of just two Stags, Hulseman and Olivia Russell ‘18. With less than 25 minutes left in the game, Niagara would score two goal close the gap to four goals, but once again the Stags would find a way to get past the Purple Eagles to score another goal, giving Fairfield the 11-6 lead.
Although Niagara managed to score four goal in the final 10 minutes of the game, Fairfield’s lead was too much for the Purple Eagles as their comeback fell short. After closing the deficit to just two, Brooke Gallagher ‘18 would connect for two goals, giving the Stags a three goal edge. The Stags would close out the game strongly on defense, holding Niagara scoreless for the remaining two minutes of the game to pick up the 13-10 victory.
Fairfield was led to victory by its seniors, the performance of Russell and Connolly contributed highly to the Stags performance this past Thursday. Russell finished the contest with a total of four goals while Connolly finished with five assists and two goals. Junior Taylor Mitchell, Gallagher and Hulseman each netted two goals in Fairfield’s victory.
The Stags will look to carry the momentum and continue their winning streak when they travel to take on Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. on Wednesday, April 4 at 3 p.m. with the hope of picking up their third conference victory.