Keenan Saves 17 to Propel Stags Past Lehigh

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Fairfield used a strong second-half performance to earn an 11-8 win over visiting Lehigh Wednesday afternoon on Alumni Field. The win improves the Stags to 5-2 overall, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 4-5.

Katie Keenan made nine of her career-high 17 saves in the second-half and Courtney Chmil had three of the team's nine caused turnovers, as Fairfield held Lehigh to just three second-half goals.

Chloe Mangan got the scoring going with an unassisted tally 57 seconds into the game and was answered 2:03 later by Lehigh's Chelsea Retaleato. Mangan struck again at 22:43 for the 2-1 Fairfield advantage, but the Mountain Hawks rattled off four unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead. Leigh Ann Torcivia scored twice and had an assist during the run, which was capped by Retaleato's second of the game with 7:04 to play in the first-half.

Mangan snapped the Stags scoring drought with her third tally of the game with 4:49 to play before intermission, netting a pass from Melanie Raso. Raso had her second assist 48 seconds later when she fed Courtney Chmil for a goal to make the score 5-4, which would be the count when the team's went to the locker room.

Fairfield continued its run to start the second half, starting 45 seconds into the period with an unassisted goal from Jamie Leone to knot the score, 5-5. Kate McKinley got into the act at the 26:26 mark as she netted a pass from Amanda Best to give the Stags a lead they would not relinquish. Raso, 25:00, and Best, 21:21, tallied unassisted goals to make the Stags run 6-0, and make the lead 8-5.

The Stags defense finally relented at the 18:07 mark of the second-half when Carli Sukonik snapped a nearly 20 minute scoring drought for Lehigh. Jenna Slowey wasted little time in pushing the Stags advantage back to three, with her first tally of the afternoon 37 seconds later.

Chmil tallied her second goal of the game three minutes after that for the games largest advantage, 10-6. The Mountain Hawks would score next, with 9:19 to play to get back within three, 10-7, but Raso answered with 4:10 to play. Julie McBrien netted the final goal with 85 seconds remaining in the contest.

Mangan finished with a game-high three goals, while Raso led the way with four total points on two goals and two assists. Torcivia and Lauren Murray both had a pair of goals for Lehigh, with Torcivia adding a pair of assists.

Chmil scored twice for the Stags while also picking up a team-high four ground balls and four draw controls. That effort helped Fairfield to a 17-15 edge in ground balls and an 11-11 effort in draw controls.

Fairfield returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Rutgers at 3:00 p.m. on Alumni Field.

* * * *

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Lehigh held a 33-21 edge in shots, but struggled to beat Fairfield goalie Katie Keenan, who made 17 saves to propel the Stags (5-2) past the Mountain Hawks (4-5), 11-8, on Wednesday afternoon.

Senior Leigh Ann Torcivia led the way with two goals, two assists and a game-high five draw controls while sophomore Chelsea Retaleato and senior Lauren Murray also scored two goals apiece.

"We struggled today in groundballs and draw control. That was definitely a key to the game," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "We've been dominating draws and it was much more even today, which put us on defense a whole bunch. Fairfield capitalized. We generated a lot of opportunities, but couldn't beat a good goalkeeper enough of the time."

Keenan stopped 17 of 25 shots in a strong effort. That included nine in the second half when Fairfield erased a 5-4 Lehigh advantage by outscoring the Mountain Hawks, 7-3.

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2012-03-21



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