May 2, 2009

Play On: Fairfield Eases to Play-In Victory

from press releases

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Fairfield University women's lacrosse team earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 16-10 win over Sacred Heart University on Lessing Field Saturday afternoon.  The Stags, who have now won 11 straight games, improve to 17-2 on the season, while the Pioneers fall to 12-7 overall.

Fairfield scored first in the second period, as Erin Rigby touched net 43 seconds into the half, for a 9-6 lead.  The Pioneers answered with a Cori Horelik goal with 27:15 to play and a Carissa Hauser tally with 20:55 to play, to make the score 9-8.  Fairfield won the ensuing draw control and Rigby fed Kim Fuchs for a tally 14 seconds later. 

The goal made it 10-8 in favor of the Stags and began a 7-0 run, including the eventual game-winning goal from Abbey Goodwin with 18:55 to play in the game.  Six different Stags scored during the stretch, with five of the goals being assisted.

Fairfield's defense was also stellar in the second-half, giving up only four goals, and none for nearly 20 minutes in the middle of the second-half.  Lauren Chatnik made seven saves in the game to earn the win in net for the Stags.

Both teams cleared the ball well, with Fairfield going 17-18 and Sacred Heart being perfect at 16-16.  The Stags ended up winning one additional draw control, 14-13 for the game, while committing five fewer turnovers, 16-11.

Kristen Coleman led all players with eight points, touching net four times and dishing out four assists. She also had two draw controls in the game.  Goodwin had a hat trick in the contest, while Rigby, Rebecca White, Fuchs and Kylee Martin each scored twice in the contest.  Rigby, White and Fuchs each also added an assist, while Brittany Bare had a goal and an assist.

White, Bare and Renee L'Heureux each had two caused turnovers, as the Stags had eight for the game.  L'Heureux led the Stags with five ground balls, while Alyssa Vecchione had four, as Fairfield led in that category as a team, 21-18.

Mary Montesarchio had seven points for the Pioneers, with four goals and three assists.  Hauser had a hat trick and Horelik tallied a pair of goals.  Chelsea Wagner made 11 saves in net for the Pioneers.

The Stags 17 wins equals the program-high set a season ago.  Fairfield will find out its first round NCAA Tournament opponent when the field of 16 is announced Sunday, May 3 at 10 p.m. on CBS College Sports Network.

The Stags scored the first five goals of the game, in just the first 5:40 of action, but Sacred Heart battled back, scoring four straight in a 4:05 span, to make the deficit just one, 5-4, with 19:25 to play in the first-half.  The Stags struck for three unanswered, taking an 8-4 lead, before the Pioneers scored the final two goals of the first-half, to make the halftime score, 8-6.

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