Fairfield vs. Harvard
March 19, 2005
The Game Story:
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore goalie Michael Kruger (Ellicot City, Md.) made a career-high 20 saves, including four in the final two minutes of play, to preserve Fairfield University's 7-6 victory over No. 20 Harvard on Saturday afternoon. The Stags improve to 3-2 on the season while the Crimson fall to 2-1 overall.

Fairfield got out to a quick start, scoring just eight seconds into the contest, as sophomore Charles Keinath (Melville, N.Y.) won the opening face-off and dished the ball to classmate Michael Boklet (Katonah, N.Y.). Bocklet then found junior Kyle Herman (Northport, R.I.) in front of the net and Herman gave the Stags the early 1-0 lead. Exactly one minute later, freshman Brian Stanton (Camillus, N.Y.) made it 2-0 as he registered an unassisted goal with 13:52 remaining in the first period.

After eight scoreless minutes, goals came in bunches for the Crimson as they closed the first quarter with a 3-0 scoring run, getting goals from Brian Mahler, Evan Calvert and Zach Widbin.

The Stags scored the only goal of the second period as freshman Dan Boudreau (Canton, Mass.) converted off a pass from classmate Brendan Finnerty (Merrick, N.Y.) to begin a 3-0 run for Fairfield. Freshman Matt Castele (Medina, Ohio) scored at the 13:14 mark of the third period off a pass from sophomore Greg Downing (Auburn, N.Y.) and freshman Travis Nelson (Oswego, N.Y.) completed the run, taking a pass from Bocklet and finding the back of the net to give the Stags the 5-3 advantage with four minutes remaining in the third.

Harvard answered with back-to-back goals by Brooks Scholl and Steve Cohen to even the score at five apiece but Boudreau put the Stags up 6-5 as he scored with one second remaining in the third period.

The fourth period proved to be a defensive battle for the first nine minutes of play before Sean Kane evened the game at six apiece. Just over one minute later, a Harvard penalty gave the Stags a man-up opportunity and Downing took advantage, getting the game-winner off a pass from junior Josh Thornton (St. Charles, Mo.).

Fairfield had an opportunity to run out the clock but turned the ball over with thirty seconds to play. The Crimson stormed down the field and Widbin got off a solid shot, forcing Kruger to make the point-blank save with 16 seconds left to preserve the victory. Following the save, Kruger got the ball to Keinath who carried it down the sideline, plowing over three Harvard players, to run out the clock.

For the game, the Crimson outshot Fairfield, 40-20 and held the slight advantage in groundballs, 24-22 but the Stags dominated on face-offs as Keinath won 11 of 15 attempts.

Fairfield is back in action on Wed., March 23 as the team opens the Great Western Lacrosse League portion of their season, taking on Air Force on Alumni Field at 3 p.m.