After coming off of a tough loss against the University of Connecticut, Fairfield’s women’s lacrosse team returned to Rafferty Stadium prepared to take down Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes, the Manhattan Jaspers. The Stags were relentless, beating Manhattan 12-3, improving their overall record to 5-3 as they begin MAAC play.
“After a tough loss, we just like to focus on getting better, working towards a win,” said goalie, Chelsey Sidaras ‘16.
From the very start of the game, Fairfield came out strong. 10 minutes into the first half, Julieanne Mascera ‘17 had already posted three goals for her team.
Although Manhattan controlled five of the eight draws, Fairfield’s defense constantly brought the ball back to the offensive side of the field which caused the Jaspers to fall behind. After three goals by her teammate, Jenna Fuchs ‘16 netted the next pair of goals for the Stags, one off of a pass from Maeve Quinn ‘16 and another unassisted shot after a clear from Chelsey Sidaras ‘16.
Now ahead 5-0 with ten minutes remaining, Jamie Leone ‘15 found another gap in the goal and scored Fairfield’s 6th goal of the game. The six goal lead, however, wasn’t enough for Mascera, who scored her fourth goal of the half, putting the Stags ahead 7-0 at the buzzer.
“Everyone on the attacking end helps set up the opportunity to get goals,” said Mascera, “and after the tough game against Uconn, I was 0-8, so going into the game I really wanted to score.”
Although Manhattan’s goalie Christin Fiorinelli was forced to make 14 saves, Sidaras only needed to make 7, of which none were able to get past her.
Like a captain should, Leone started the second half for the Stags hot. Less than 40 seconds in, Alex Fehmel ‘17 set up an opportunity for Leone to score, putting the team ahead by an impressive eight goals. After setting up her teammate for a goal, Fehmel stepped up scoring the ninth goal of the game, her 11th of the season. For the Stags, everyone was contributing to get the win.
“We’re not the type of team where it’s one person who’s going to win the game, it’s not going to work that way,” said Sidaras. “It doesn’t matter if the defense has a good game, offense has a good game, it’s us as a team that needs to have a good game and that’s how we get a win.”
The ninth goal proved to be Manhattan’s breaking point and after a couple of fouls from athletes on both sides, the Jaspers finally posted a goal for their team with about 20 minutes remaining in the game. Coming off of an assist from Quinn, Fuchs answered Manhattan’s goal with a goal of her own and after 3 assists, Quinn scored the 11th goal for the Stags.
Now, ahead by 10 goals, Fairfield stepped back and Manhattan was able to score two more goals before Fairfield scored their 12th goal. At the sound of the buzzer, the Stags had defeated the Jaspers 12-3.
Fairfield completely outplayed Manhattan, outshooting them 28-14.
“We beat Manhattan in all aspects of the game, which is something we have a hard time doing,” said Mascera. “We don’t always play a full game and I think that on Saturday, we definitely played the whole game.”
Fairfield’s defense, anchored heavily by Melissa Laible ‘16 and Lauren Casadonte ‘15, only allowed Manhattan to take 14 shots throughout the game, almost all of which Sidaras was able to stop.
“Defenders had a lot of ground balls in the beginning and we had a lot of close turnovers,” said Sidaras, “so when the other team would make a mistake, our defense definitely capitalized on it.”
Looking to continue on with this powerful momentum, the women will be heading to New York to take on the Siena Saints this weekend.