Not even the snow could slow down the women’s lacrosse team as they defeated Rutgers University 11-10 on Saturday, Feb. 21, at Rafferty Stadium.
After being down 0-4 in the first 20 minutes of the game, Fairfield’s Colleen Reynolds ‘16 and Julieanne Mascera ‘16 changed the pace of the game for the team by putting some points on the board. After a goal by Reynolds with 14 minutes remaining, Mascera posted back-to-back goals for the Stags, tightening the gap between the score to just a goal.
“During games, it’s hard to get that momentum,” said Mascera. “And once you get that scoring momentum, it’s just easier to keep it going, so it was exciting getting the two goals.”
Fairfield’s defense was able to keep the Scarlet Knights out of their zone for the remainder of the half, allowing Jenna Fuchs ‘16 and Alex Fehmel ‘17 to score another two goals for the team. At the buzzer, the Stags were finally ahead 5-4.
At the conclusion of the first half, Fairfield outplayed Rutgers in shots per period (12-10), saves per period (5-4) and even walked away with six draw controls opposed to Rutgers’ four.
At the start of the second half, Rutgers was determined to tie the game and get ahead. Just 20 seconds into the game, the Knights netted an unassisted shot to tie.
“Rutgers was able to play pretty well on their fast breaks,” said Mascera. “Going into the game, we knew they were a faster team and we knew they were going to take that to their advantage and we saw that when they came out of halftime when they scored a goal in under a minute.”
Unsatisfied with the goal, Fairfield’s Captain Jamie Leone ‘15 fired back and scored her first goal of the half for the team, putting the Stags ahead once again 6-5.
Constantly attempting to get ahead, Rutgers edged the Stags and tied the game once again with another goal.
With the game tied 6-6, the snow began to fall even harder which proved to be a problem for the Knights, but an advantage for the Stags.
“Rutgers has an indoor facility, so it definitely gave us a step above, but you just have to play the different aspects,” said Mascera. “So even though people were slipping and falling, as an attacker, you have to beat out the defender and if they’re on the ground, you just have to keep going.”
As Rutgers’ defense struggled to keep up with Fairfield’s attack, the team was able to score another two goals, one by Scarlett Sulliman ‘17 and another by Leone. The two-goal lead was the biggest lead the team had seen yet in the game.
Rutgers scored another goal and the two teams played neck and neck. The game was tied 9-9 with nine minutes remaining before Fairfield’s Maeve Quinn ‘16 netted a goal, putting them ahead 10-9.
However, knowing how Rutgers had been playing the entire game, Leone fought to get another goal for the team, and that’s exactly what she did. Leone scored her third goal of the game, which ultimately won the game for the team. With Fairfield ahead 11-9, Rutgers netted another goal, but wasn’t able to walk away with the win.
“We have so many strong players on the field and with the attacking end of the field, you’re comfortable with anyone having the ball and especially with Jamie Leone,” said Mascera. “Everyone is always really confident when the ball is on her stick, so it’s nice to always have her backing you up on the field.”
The women’s lacrosse team now holds a 2-1 record thus far in the season, and will travel for their first away game to play Lehigh University on Saturday, Feb. 28.