April 21, 2011

Fairfield Captures Fourth Straight MAAC Regular Season Championship

from press release

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- For the fourth consecutive year the Fairfield University women's lacrosse team has captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Regular Season title with a perfect 6-0 mark. The Stags defeated host Iona College, 12-6, Thursday afternoon at Mazzella Field, to win their league-record 24th consecutive regular season MAAC game.

Fairfield, 12-4 overall this season, used a strong defensive effort to earn the victory in its regular season finale. The Stags built a 5-2 lead on Melanie Raso's second goal of the game just over midway through the first-half. Kylie Gregory would answer for Iona at the 11:12 mark, making it 5-3, but it would be the Gaels last tally for nearly 33 minutes of game action.

The Stags scored the final two goals of the first-half, as Amanda Best and Addie Reilly both touched net for a second time, to take a 7-3 lead at the intermission. Katie Mackay netted the first goal of the second-half 13:31 into the period and Jenna Slowey put home her second of the game with 9:20 to play in regulation for the Stags largest lead of the game, 9-3.

Iona, 5-11 overall and 3-3 in league play, scored back-to-back goals at the 8:20 and 7:57 mark, to get back within four, 9-5. Brittany Bare stymied that comeback with her first tally of the game 55 seconds later for a 10-5 Stags advantage. Raso completed her hat trick at the 5:21 mark, a goal which was answered 19 seconds later by Iona's Caitlyn Collins to make the score 11-6. Slowey rounded out the scoring by netting a Mackay pass with six seconds remaining in the game.

Katie Keenan made seven saves in the game to earn her 12th victory of the season as she played all 60 minutes in net for the Stags. Maria Ortiz minded the net for the entire game for Iona, making six saves.
Slowey and Raso both finished the game with four points, each tallying three goals and handing out an assist. Mackay finished with a goal and two assists, while Reilly and Best both struck for a pair of goals and Bare finished with a goal and an assist.

Elizabeth Coholan and Collins led Iona with two goals and an assist each in the contest. Gregory touched net twice as well for the Gaels.

Fairfield won 11-19 draw controls on the afternoon, led by three from Raso. The Stags also had a 14-13 advantage in ground balls, with Bare picking up a team-best three in the game. Renee L'Heureux caused half of the Stags four caused turnovers in the game, with Iona committing one additional, 14-13, miscue on the day.

The Stags are the first team in MAAC history to win four consecutive regular season titles and have now captured eight of the 15 regular season crowns in conference history. They are the top-seed at the April 29- May 1 conference championship which will be hosted by Iona. Canisius has secured the number-two seed in the tournament, while Iona has also earned a spot in the four-team championship.

The winner of Saturday's game between Marist and Siena, in Loundonville, N.Y., will determine the final entrant in the championship. A Marist win would mean the Stags would play Iona in the second semifinal at 2:30 on Friday, April 29, while a Siena victory would set up a rematch of last year's semifinal between the Stags and Saints. That game would be played at noon.

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