Fairfield vs. Penn State
March 6, 2004
The Game Story:
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Fairfield University men's lacrosse team jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back, upsetting No. 19 Penn State, 10-6 on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. With the win, the first-ever over the Nittany Lions, the Stags improve to 3-0 on the year, the best start in school history since the 1999 squad also went 3-0. With the loss, Penn State falls to 1-2 on the season.

"It all begins with controlling the face-off and ends with solid goalkeeping," said Head Coach Ted Spencer. "Pete Vlahakis was dominant and Mike Kruger really showed us what he could do in goal. We are fortunate that so many people stepped up and played well for us today. This is a big win for our program and for this team."

Fairfield senior Peter Vlahakis (Shoreham, N.Y.) dominated on face-offs, winning 15-or-20 attempts while the Nittany Lions held the slight advantage in shots, 37-33 and groundballs 40-38. Freshman goalie Michael Kruger (Ellicott City, Md.) put in an outstanding performance between the pipes, making 18 saves while Penn State's Josh LaGrow stopped six.

Senior Matt Baglio (Brightwaters, N.Y.) opened the scoring for Fairfield, connecting off a pass from classmate Troy Bamann (Victor, N.Y.) at the 7:44 mark. The score would remain at 1-0 until the Stags put up four unanswered goals in the final four minutes of the first period to take the 5-0 lead as senior Rory McCarthy (Camillus, N.Y.) registered a goal off a pass from Baglio and assisted on goals by senior Tom Werney (Granite Springs, N.Y.) and freshman Mike Brocklet (Katonah, NY). Werney added another goal during the run, with the assist credited to sophomore Josh Thornton (St. Charles, Mo.).

Three-minutes into the second half, senior Garrett Bamann (Victor, NY) found his brother Troy Bamann who tallied his lone goal of the day to give Fairfield a commanding 6-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions got on the board with 10:22 remaining in the half as John Eremus scored off a pass from Patrick Heim. Just over one minute later, Werney answered with what would prove to be the game-winner, but Eremus and Heim connected again to close out the scoring in the half, cutting the Fairfield lead to 7-2 at intermission.

Fairfield didn't let down coming out of the break as freshman Greg Downing (Auburn, N.Y.) scored 49 seconds into the third period and then again at the 13:14 mark to give Fairfield their biggest lead of the game, 9-2.

Penn State would outscore the Stags, 4-1 over the final 22 minutes, with McCarthy scoring Fairfield's last goal of the day, but it was too little, too late as the Stags held on for the 10-6 victory.

Fairfield is back in action on Sat., March 13, as the Stags host Brown University on Alumni Field at 1 p.m.