April 27, 2012

Stags Stifle Siena in MAAC Women's Semifinal

from press release

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Katie Keenan and the Fairfield University women's lacrosse defense performed as advertised and led the Stags to a 10-4 win over Siena College in the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships at Demske Field in Buffalo, N.Y. The all around team effort improved the Stags record to 13-3 and they advance to the MAAC Championship Game, Sunday at noon, for the fifth consecutive year.

After allowing two goals in the first 9:00, as the Saints took a 2-0 lead, the Stags defense allowed just two more goals over the remaining 51 minutes of play. Ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense beginning the week Fairfield did not allow the Saints a goal over the final 22:53. Keenan finished the contest with five saves and the Stags caused eight Siena turnovers. Fairfield limited the Saints to just 11 shots on the day, with only four in the second-half of play.

Trailing 2-0 MAAC Rookie of the Year Courtney Chmil got the Stags on the board, netting a pass from Melanie Raso at the 18:27 mark. Jamie Leone scored a free position goal 2:32 later to knot the game 2-2, and the score remained tied until the Saints took their final lead of the game on a Deirdre McQuillan goal with 10:12 to play before intermission. The Fairfield offense would respond with three unanswered goals in a 3:43 span. Raso scored the game-tying and go-ahead goal at 9:08 and 7:50 and Jenna Slowey concluded the run at the 5:25 mark. The stretch gave the Stags a 5-3 lead which they would take into intermission.

In the second half the Saints, 6-11 on the year, again started the scoring, as McQuillan struck for the second time to make the score 5-4 Fairfield with 22:54 to play. It would be the last goal that the Stag allowed, as they finished the game on a 5-0 run.

Mangan pushed the Stags advantage to two, 6-4, with a free position goal with 14:36 to play in regulation. That was followed 4:05 later by an unassisted tallied from Raso for a 7-4 lead and Mangan struck again at the 7:23 mark for an 8-4 edge. Chmil touched net for the second time, again with the feed from Raso, for a 9-4 edge with 5:13 to play and Amanda Best rounded out the scoring with an unassisted tally with 104 seconds left in the game.

Raso finished as the games leading scorer with five points, as she touched net three times and handed out two assist. Chmil and Mangan each scored twice for Fairfield, while Slowey's only goal of the game proved to be the game-winner. Leone also had two points for the Stags, with a goal and an assist.

The Stags dominated the draw, gaining an 11-5 advantage in that aspect of the game, thanks in large part to the three of Chmil. The rookie also had two ground balls; a category the Stags won 14-13 on the day. Raso and Erinn Hogan each picked up three ground balls to pace Fairfield in that stat. Along with her goal Best caused two turnovers, a team-high that was matched by Cassie Penta.

Siena was led offensively by the two goals of McQuillan and all four of the Saints goals were unassisted. Amanda Corso caused a game-high seven turnovers for Siena, which had 11 total and collected one ground balls. Lauren Corso picked up a game-high four ground balls. Kristin Concordia allowed 10 goals and recorded four saves as well as two ground balls.

Fairfield will be playing in its fifth-consecutive MAAC Championship Game on Sunday, a game which can be seen on MAAC.tv and will begin at noon. The Stags will face either second-seeded Canisius or third-seeded Marist in the title game. The Griffs won last year's championship and Marist was the Stags opponent in the three prior championship games.


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