Bellarmine vs. Fairfield
March 29, 2014
The Game Story:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Fairfield University's Jack Murphy is the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Week in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and the senior goalie will certainly be in the running again after the No. 16 Stags managed a 9-3 win over the Bellarmine University lacrosse team on a rainy Saturday at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium. With the loss, the Knights concluded their conference slate with an 0-4 record but are still 4-4 overall. It was the ECAC opener for the Stags, who have won five straight games in improving to 7-2 overall. With rain splashing down throughout the game, scoring was largely scarce for both teams and neither was helped by the fact that two of the conference's best goalies in Murphy and Bellarmine senior Will Haas were guarding the nets. The Knights' previous low for goals in a game this season was seven. The Stags were limited to their second lowest scoring output of the year, and it was only the second time thus far they've scored less than 11 goals in a contest. The first was against a ranked Hofstra squad. The weather may have been gloomy, but that's not how Bellarmine started Saturday's game. The Knights grabbed a 2-0 lead before the Stags asserted themselves and scored seven unanswered goals. Bellarmine struggled to find the net, but the Knights regularly took aim, outshooting the Stags 34-26. Murphy didn't let many shots get past him and collected 12 saves. Despite Fairfield's winning streak and ranking, Bellarmine took control at the outset and dominated the first quarter. Freshman Austin Shanks opened the scoring at the 10:17 mark when he weaved through Fairfield's defense and fired a shot into the bottom left corner of the net for his 14th goal of the year. Freshman Tucker Ciessau put Bellarmine up 2-0 roughly seven minutes later with a nifty sequence of personal play. As the Stags were transitioning to offense, Ciessau intercepted a pass and was faced with an open net. He calmly buried the shot for his team-best 17th goal of the season. At that point, the Knights had fired off nine shots to only one for Fairfield. The Stags, however, were able to build some momentum late in the first quarter when Tristan Sperry, who came into the game leading the ECAC in points, darted out from behind the net and tucked away Fairfield's first goal at the 1:47 mark. The Stags finished the opening period with more turnovers five than shots four. Fairfield backed up its top 20 ranking over the final three quarters. Colin McLinden scored the tying goal early in the second quarter, and Sperry dodged Bellarmine's defense to net the go-ahead goal about a minute later. The Stags would post two more scores before halftime in taking a 5-2 lead at the break. The third quarter saw a single goal scored, with Fairfield taking a 6-2 advantage on Conor Dalton's successful shot. The Stags opened the scoring in the fourth before Bellarmine ended its scoring drought on the eighth goal of the season by junior Ryan Scinta. Junior Daniel Zamora made a nice pass to Scinta cutting toward the goal. Haas tallied four saves for Bellarmine and three ground balls. Junior Bobby Schmitt also had three ground balls and a team-best three caused turnovers. Eric Warden scored twice for Fairfield to boost his season total to 24 goals. Sperry scored a pair and now has 18. TJ Neubauer added his 17th goal and David Fleming recorded his 13th. Bellarmine plays at Marquette at 3 p.m., ET on Tuesday, April 1. The Knights will host High Point at 7 p.m., ET on Saturday, April 5 at Frazier Stadium in their home finale.