In a Colonial Athletic Association match-up, the Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team (5-9, 0-5) fell to Hofstra University (5-9, 2-3 CAA) 11-9 on Friday, April 26. The loss on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium wrapped up the disappointing season for the Stags, and marked an end to the careers of seven graduating seniors.
The tone was solemn under the lights for captains Kendall Keahy ‘19 and Samuel Murphy ‘19, as well as Jack Brennan ‘19, Liam Lynch ‘19, Adam Riestis ‘19 and Matt Sharpe ‘19 when they were recognized before the first faceoff. Nonetheless they fought hard to keep Hofstra’s lead marginal, and leave everything they had on the field.
“It was a spirited game and we had the lead down the stretch but just weren’t able to hold on. I feel for our seniors, because that’s a tough pill to swallow, but those guys and others in our locker room have an awful lot to be proud of,” said head coach Andy Copelan to fairfieldstags.com.
Senior Jack Brennan started out his final collegiate game strong when he scored on a helper by Dylan Beckwith ‘20 only 49 seconds into play. This would be Brennan’s last goal donning the red and white jersey, but he remained thirsty for a win for the entire match. Hofstra answered back with an unassisted goal by Ryan Tierney which got past James Corasiniti ‘22 guarding the cage. Fairfield took the extra-man opportunity when Hofstra’s lone goal-scorer earned himself a minute in the penalty box for slashing, and Taylor Strough ‘21 buried a shot into the net. The first period concluded with Fairfield on top 2-1.
In the second, the Pride scored three unanswered goals gaining their first lead of the game, 4-2. Travis Ford ‘21 scored his 22 goal of the season, assisted by Beckwith, putting Fairfield within one goal of Hofstra. Beckwith tried to get past Hofstra’s goalkeeper, Robert Casey, but failed. Hofstra cleared the ball and travelled across the field to score on Corasiniti. At half-time Fairfield was down 5-3.
31:01 into regulation time, Strough netted his second goal of the evening and Beckwith tallied a second assist. At a one-man advantage, Fairfield’s defense remained strong, and Delaware native Patrick Drake ‘22 evened the score at five while Beckwith got credit for the third point in a row. Twice more, Drake rallied past the Pride’s pushback and completed a hat trick, 7-5. Hofstra took one back and Fairfield was left to preserve their advantage in the remaining quarter.
Hofstra took the reigns, winning the faceoff and shooting a rocket between the bars. A turnover by Fairfield gave Hofstra possession, and they scored again. Their valiant fight set them one ahead of the home team, 8-7.
Drake continued his hot streak with his fourth goal of the game, increasing his season record to 21. First-year Brendan Dreyer claimed his second goal of the 2019 campaign, creating a one-goal differential for the tenth time of the night.
Devastatingly, Hofstra picked up speed and surged past their adversaries to complete the scoring 11-9. Following a timeout by Hofstra with 1:54 left on the clock, things got rowdy on the field when Beckwith collected two minutes worth of penalties for holding and unnecessary roughing while Cole Barnard ‘21 picked up thirty seconds for pushing. The end-of-game aggression were a reflection of Fairfield’s desire to win, but unfortunately, the efforts were too late.
Although the Stags took a loss, it was the conclusion to a season which was comprised of many personal successes.
Drake’s four goals matched his career high, and completed his rookie season with 21 markers and 31 total points. His performance got him selected as CAA Rookie of the week. Drake finished off his premiere collegiate campaign in having tallied 31 points which slotted him in third place among his teammates, and in third among CAA first-years
Sophomore Zane Friedt’s assist to Dreyer’s goal was his first point as a Fairfield Stag. Corasiniti scooped up three ground balls and made 13 saves. Of his 12 starts this year, this was his eighth sime making double digit saves.
Most notably, Beckwith continued his tremendous all-season effort, and his five assists contributed to a new Fairfield single-season record of 37 helpers. His season total of 65 points slotted him in fourth place for most in program history. Additionally, this was the most amount of points in a single season for a Stag in 20 years.