Fairfield vs. Vermont
March 31, 2009
The Game Story:
The #20 Fairfield University men's lacrosse team ran its winning streak to four games with a-come-from-behind 10-8 win over the University of Vermont on Tuesday. The Stags, playing their first game this season as a nationally ranked team, improve to 6-2, while the Catamounts fall to 4-5.

The first-half was marred by 32 combined turnovers, 12 by the Stags, and a 3-3 halftime score. The Stags took a 4-3 lead 60 seconds into the third quarter on a tally by Brent Adams (Norwalk, Conn.). Vermont would score the next four goals, including two coming 22 seconds apart from Derek Litchfuss, to take a 7-4 lead, the largest margin of the game.

Mike Esposito (Bellport, N.Y.) turned the momentum in the Stags favor as the quarter drew to a close. The rookie came from behind the net, spun around his defender and dove to the near post, sticking the ball between the pipe and the Vermont keeper with 3.1 to play in the period, to make the score 7-5.

That tally was the first of six straight goals for the Stags as they built a 10-7 advantage. Chris Ajemian (Duxbury, Mass.) scored at the 11:03 mark to make it 7-6, netting a pass from Ryan Mulford (Marlboro, N.Y.). The score would remain at that point for nearly seven minutes until Esposito touched net for the second time, on a pass from Adams, to tie the score with 4:23 to play.

Billy Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) gave the Stags the lead for good 28 seconds later, scooping a ground ball from the ensuing face-off in his own zone and going the length of the field to score unassisted. Chris Trombino (Huntington, N.Y.) scored the game-winning goal with 2:24 to play, on a feed from Doug Kuring (New Milford, Conn.). Adams concluded the scoring with 66 seconds to play, looping a shot from just outside the restraining line into the net as the team was about to be called for a 10-second violation.

Charlie Cipriano (Williston Park, N.Y.) earned the win for the Stags, making 10 saves, and picking up two ground balls. His Catamount counterpart, Justin Lubas, made 17 saves, with 10 in the first-half, and had four ground balls.

Adams finished the game with four points, touching net three times and adding an assist. Trombino and Esposito also scored twice for the Stags in the game.

The Fairfield defense caused 13 turnovers in the game, with a game-high five from senior Matt Petre (Somers, N.Y.). Petre also led the Stags with six ground balls, while Honovich had five. Vermont had a 43-35 advantage in ground balls for the game.

Vermont was led by four-point efforts of Litchfuss and Geoff Worley, both of whom had two goals and to assists. Andrew Kelleher also scored twice, including the final goal of the game with 47 seconds remaining.

The teams combined for only 15 second-half turnovers, with Vermont committing 29 miscues in the game and Fairfield 18. The Stags out shot the Catamounts 42-29 for the game, with Vermont won 14-22 face-offs, including 10-14 in the second half. Fairfield cleared the ball at 78 percent, 18-23, while holding Vermont to 63.6 percent, 14-22.

The Stags begin a three-game road trip on Saturday, playing at ECAC Lacrosse League foe Georgetown.