A battle between the two remaining undefeated teams in conference play, Fairfield and Towson, finished in a one point victory for Towson.
The No. 20 Fairfield men’s lacrosse team played host to No. 16 Towson with 1,225 in attendance at Rafferty Stadium.
Both teams are in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense; Fairfield ranks fifth, while Towson ranks third.
Towson came out victorious with the final score being 8-7.
“Hats off to Towson, they came up here and beat us in a tightly contested matchup,” said head coach Andy Copelan. “Those guys are good, they’re the No.16 team in the country for a reason.”
The first period started with an offensive display from both teams as they came out the gate aggressive. Each team scored four goals and finished the period tied.
The Stags finished the first period with four saves and three assists.
Both defenses allowed four goals, which was a surprise from both teams as they are two of the top defensive teams in the nation.
“I thought the first quarter got away from both teams, I don’t know if it was the excitement or the nerves, maybe both offenses were just clicking,” said Copelan. “The 4-4 first quarter was something that I don’t think Coach Nadelen nor myself were totally ready for.”
As the second quarter started, the defensive intensity picked up for both teams.
As both teams battled on defense, Towson was able to score one goal to take the lead 5-4. Towson was able to shut down the Stags offense for the rest of the half.
Fairfield was held scoreless in the second quarter and trailed Towson by one at the half.
Fairfield and Towson showed those in attendance throughout the third quarter why they were nationally ranked in scoring defense as they displayed their skills excellently.
Both Fairfield and Towson struggled to get the ball into the net, until Towson was able to convert and score the only goal in that quarter.
Headed into the fourth period, down 6-5, Fairfield continued to trail.
As the final quarter of the game started, Towson came out hot on the offensive end as they were able to break through the tough defense of the Stags and score on consecutive possessions.
The Stags were now down by three (5-8) with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Fairfield made their final push as T.J. Neubauer ‘16 scored to bring the lead to two with time winding down.
The Stags were able to score on the next possession after Tristan Sperry ‘15 assisted Jake Knostman ‘17, bringing the lead down to one with less than three minutes remaining.
Fairfield won the next face-off and had the final possession, but were not able to tie as Towson was able to shut down the Stags offense in the final minutes.
Fairfield was able to get seven goals off the hands of seven different players.
This is the fifth one-goal loss for the Stags this season.
“It’s just tough. You lose in that fashion where you feel like you have some opportunities and you feel like you prepared the right way and you feel like you have the right game plan,” said Copelan. “It doesn’t take a whole lot to go wrong for you to be on the losing end of a one-goal game.”
The Stags look to defend home turf and bounce back as they play host to Delaware. Fairfield is currently in second place, posting a 7-5 record overall, but a 2-1 record in the Collegiate Athletic Association conference. Delaware has had a tough season, currently in last place, posting a 0-3 record in the CAA and a 4-9 record overall.
The Stags will take on Towson on Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m.