Fairfield women’s lacrosse beat the Siena Saints on Saturday at a score of 15-8 to secure their fifth straight win. Sophomore Julieanne Mascera and Alex Fehmel ’17 both recorded hat tricks as the Stags improve to 4-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 9-3 overall. This win in which nine Stags scored goals also put the Stags at the top of their conference standings.

           “It’s nice that in different games, so many players have opportunities to get goals,” said Mascera. “It always ends up working out for different people.”

           The Stags played this game on Lessing Field as opposed to Alumni Field due to the construction of Rafferty Stadium underway. The transition from the turf field to the grass field was a significant factor for the team.

           “We’ve been working a lot on the grass during practice,” said Mascera. “Getting ground balls on it is such a huge difference.”

           Working on picking up ground balls paid off as Fairfield won 19 of the 30 ground balls in the game. The Stags also outshot Siena 30-21 and beat them in draw controls 13-11. Siena also struggled with 13 turnovers and seven yellow cards being drawn on players throughout the game. Fairfield goalkeeper Chelsey Sidaras ’16 made five saves for the Stags and was credited with the win in this contest.

           Just 34 seconds into the game, Fehmel put the Stags on the scoreboard, but Siena player Alyssa Treanor answered with a goal of her own shortly after. Soon enough, leading goal scorers Melanie Raso ’14 and Riley Hellstein ’17 got on the board with goals of their own to give Fairfield a comfortable two goal lead.

           After this, play became somewhat dismal for both teams. A good amount of turnovers and fouls were to follow in the last 15 minutes of the first half as both teams scored a few goals. Siena had possession of the ball for most of the period, but Fairfield capitalized on the few goal-scoring opportunities that they did have.

           Raso, Mascera and Jamie Leone ’15 all scored throughout the rest of the first half to give the Stags a 6-4 lead going into the half. Leone’s goal was a behind-the-back shot that was SportsCenter Top 10 material.

           “I think it was the ground balls,” said Hellstein about the first half struggles. “We couldn’t pick up on those at first and once we did, we were able to finish.”

           In the second half, the Stags scored just over a minute into the period on a free position shot by Colleen Reynolds ’16. At this point, the Stags and Saints exchanged goals for a short while. However, Siena soon found themselves in serious foul trouble, drawing seven yellow cards by the end of the game as well as eight free position shots.

           Fairfield scored off five of those free-position shots, including four in the second half. Reynolds, Mascera, Hellstein and Jenna Slowey ’14 all scored on those shots and helped the team build a 12-5 lead with just 12 minutes remaining in the game.

           Another factor of the success in the second half was the amount of draw controls that Fairfield won.

           “We won a lot more of the draws so that really helped to get adrenaline going,” said Hellstein. “It helped us get a lot more possessions.”

           The Stags won nine of 13 draw controls in the second half, in contrast to winning only four of 11 in the first half. They also had possession of the ball for most of the second half.

However, an unexpected scoreboard malfunction might have helped out Siena some. With just 17 minutes left to play in the game, Siena scored their fifth goal of the game. However, the scoreboard would not show the number five and kept skipping to number nine. After 10 minutes of idle play, it was decided that the scoreboard would just read 50 to represent five. After this, the Stags scored five unanswered goals.

           With just over five minutes to play, Fairfield was leading Siena at a score of 13-5. At this point, the Saints were gaining more possessions and had some solid goal opportunities. They scored three goals in the last five minutes and Fairfield scored a few more goals as well.

           One of these goals was from Kelly Camardo ’17, the first of her collegiate career. Another player, Kaitlyn Arnold ’17, made a shot in net with just 55 seconds left for what would be the first goal of her collegiate career. However, she did not drop her stick after the goal, rendering its relevance. Still, the Stags held on and won 15-8, their fifth straight of the season.

           “We’ve done a good job of everyone talking to each other,” said Mascera about the win. “We noticed what we had to change from the first half to the second half. I think we did a good job of fixing all that in the second half, which ended really well.”

           The Fairfield women’s lacrosse team plays its next home game on Wednesday, April 16, against Quinnipiac, looking for their sixth straight victory.

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