The Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team faced off against the University of Albany on Wednesday night, falling short in a 16-13 defeat. The Stags endured a roller coaster of a first half, as they went into halftime down six goals before entering the fourth quarter down nine. The Stags proceeded to wrestle back into action by trimming the lead down to four, but it wasn’t enough. They took the loss as they fell to a 2-2 record in their four games played so far this season.
After a quick goal to start things off, the Great Danes responded quickly by piling in two of their own to take the lead, before the Stags tied things off at the eight minute mark thanks to a shot from attackman Libby Rowe ‘23, her eighth of the season at the 6:13 mark. Albany put three more in before the conclusion of the first quarter, increasing their lead to three.
The second half featured a Haley Burns ‘25 shot at the 11:57 mark to cut the lead down to two. Albany fired back a minute later with a goal of their own, followed by another goal exactly one minute later at the 9:57 mark to increase their lead to four. Fairfield briefly was let off the hook with a man-up opportunity, enabling a chance to bring the lead back down. Attacker Amanda Kozak ‘24 did exactly that, securing her sixth of the season to keep the Stags in decent range of the deficit.
After an Albany goal with 5:30 remaining in the second, graduate midfielder Ellie Grefenstette netted one through less than a minute later to once again close the gap to three. That was all they could do for the remainder of the half, as Albany scored three more times before the conclusion of the first half.
Fairfield came out on a positive note to start the second half off the backs of Olivia Doody ‘23 and Grefenstette to bring the lead back down to four. Unfortunately, Albany had other plans as they counterattacked with five consecutive goals to close out the quarter, with the Stags finding themselves down nine entering the final quarter of play.
The fourth quarter proved to be a more memorable quarter for the Stags, as midfielder Elizabeth Talluto ‘23 scored on a man down disadvantage to start a six-goal rally for Fairfield throughout the course of the quarter. She was followed by attackman Kyleigh Tufano ‘25, who scored her first career collegiate goal with 6:35 remaining before Rowe and Burns followed her with one of their own. Tufano added another one to the scoresheet on a man-up opportunity to close the gap to three. Another man-up advantage was given to the Stags, and Talluto netted her 11th of the season with 46 seconds left to trim the lead to three.
That was all the Stags could do, as Albany found the net one more time to secure the win. On a positive note, five different Stags scored two goals, including Rowe, who led the herd with two goals, one in the first and one in the fourth, to go along with four assists in the battle. Talluto, Tufano, Grefenstette, and Burns were the four other players who found the back of the net in the contest.
Three days later, back at Rafferty Stadium in Fairfield, the Stags had a much more memorable outing as they took down Hofstra University in a 15-7 beatdown. The Stags dominated the first quarter, placing in six goals, four of which were put in by Talluto. She was further helped in these efforts by Doody and Rylee Herrell ‘24, who each fired one through to give Fairfield a 6-1 lead heading into the second quarter.
Following a Hofstra goal that cut their lead down to four, the Stags responded by putting in three more goals to increase their lead to seven. The three goal rally was helped by the likes of Grefenstette, Grace Slater ‘25, and Rowe, who put the Stags in a very comfortable position heading into the half up 9-2.
While Hofstra led off the quarter with a goal of their own to downsize the lead by one less than two minutes in, Fairfield quickly had other plans. Attackman Amanda Kozak ‘24 scored less than a minute later, at the 12:39 minute mark, to regain the seven goal lead back for the Stags. Grefensttete followed 29 seconds later with another shot with her second goal of the contest to capitalize on their lead, going up by eight.
After another Hofstra goal, Fairfield once again responded by adding to more goals to their name, off the likes of Kozak on a man-up opportunity to give hand her her second goal of the game, with Slater also obtaining her second goal of the contest shortly thereafter at the 5:42 minute mark to increase the lead to nine. Fairfield and Hofstra each scored once more, with the Stags getting theirs from Burns, her fifth of the campaign.
The fourth quarter was a lot more quiet for the Stags, who scored only once with a 1:07 remaining off Grefenstette, giving her the hat trick on the day. The Stags went out victorious, taking the win 15-7.
For more information on Fairfield athletics, please visit www.fairfieldstags.com for more information.