April 24, 2009

Fairfield Women Advance to MAAC Title Game

from press release

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The top-seeded Fairfield University women's lacrosse team overcame a slow start to advance to its second consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Lacrosse League title game with a 20-8 win over #4 Manhattan College. The Stags improve to 15-2 on the year, while the Jaspers fall to 11-5.

Erin Rigby led the Stags offense with eight points, dishing out a career-high five assists, the third-highest single-game total in program history. Kristen Coleman had sevnet points, netting five goals. Abbey Goodwin had her best statistical day of the season, with four goals and an assist, while Brittany Bare netted a hat trick, including the game-winner.

Manhattan controlled play for the first 12:48, scoring on five of its first-seven shots, to take a 5-2 advantage. The three-goal deficit is the largest the Stags have face against a MAAC foe this season. The Stags offense struggled during that same span, netting just 2-7 from the field.

The Stags offense got on track with just under 16 minutes to play, as Abbey Goodwin scored a pass from Erin Rigby to make it 5-3 and begin the comeback. Fairfield scored the next five goals, netting seven of its final 13 shots in the half, to build an 8-5 halftime advantage.

Fairfield picked up where it left off in the second half, scoring six straight to open the half and extend their run to 12-0. Bare netted a Goodwin pass 19 seconds into the second half, the eventual game-winner, to start a run of six goals in the first 7:19 of the half, to open a 14-5 advantage.

Manhattan did not score for over 27 minutes, until Chrissy Gutenberger scored a free position goal with 19:54 to play in the game. Rigby put in her third of the game 84 seconds later to push the lead back to nine, 15-6. Bare pushed the lead to double-digits with her third tally of the game, with just over 19 minutes to play in the game. The Stags took their largest lead of the game, 20-7 on a Rebecca White goal with 8:20 to play.

Lauren Chatnik earned the win in net for the Stags with a seven-save, seven-goal effort over 57:30. Kelley Bradey made a save, and allowed the final Jasper goal, in her 2:30 of action. Allison Brown made 15 saves in net for the Jaspers and played the entire game.

Fairfield dominated the draw on the day, winning 23-30 and out shot Manhattan, 45-23. The Stags were good on 15-17 clear attempts and 4-9 free position chances. Fairfield committed one additional foul, 28-27, in the game, and two more turnovers, 19-17.

Fairfield advances to the title game of the MAAC Championship on Sunday, April 26, at noon, and will face the winner of the second semifinal between #2 Canisius and #3 Marist.

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