Fairfield Sails by Niagara in Teams' MAAC Opener

Kelley Brady stopped six shots and nine different players scored as Fairfield defeated Niagara 14-5 in its MAAC opener on Alumni Field Saturday afternoon. The Stags improve to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in the MAAC, while the Purple Eagles fall to 2-5 on the season and 0-1 in league play.

Brady stopped four shots in the second-half as she backstopped a Fairfield defense which caused 11 turnovers in the game. The Stags allowed three first-half goals and just two Niagara tallies in the second-half.

The Stags scored the first two goals of the game, with Jenna Slowey opening the scoring 54 seconds into the game. Amanda Best touched net at the 23:15 mark for the 2-0 lead, which was answered 90 seconds later by Paige Matecki. Alex Clark (20:52) and Chloe Mangan (13:42) scored consecutive goals for Fairfield to push the lead to 4-1. Niagara scored twice within 10 seconds, as Carrie-Jo Farrugia scored at 12:14 and was followed by Emily French, to get Niagara back within a tally, 4-3.

Fairfield would score the final four goals of the period, two from Slowey and one apiece from Katie Phillips and Clark to push the Stags halftime advantage to 8-3. Kate McKinley concluded the 5-0 run with a score 3:06 into the second half, for the six-goal edge. After French's second of the game at the 24:31 mark, the Courtney Chmil scored back-to-back goals, 10:50 apart, to give Fairfield an 11-4 edge with 10:51 to play. Courtney Peirce struck for Niagara at the 7:18 mark which was followed by Kelly Fenton's first career goal with 4:59 to play. Katie Carroll struck twice in the closing minutes to round out the scoring.

Slowey led all scorers with her three tallies, including the game-winning goal. She was 1-1 in free position chances and had two draw controls. Chmil had a strong all around game, scoring twice, causing a team-best three turnovers and picking up three ground balls. She also had three draw controls, a game-high, as each team won 10 draw controls on the afternoon. Best finished with two points on a goal and an assist and Brynn Raffensperger tallied her first collegiate point with an assist to Carroll.

French scored twice for Niagara as well as recording the teams only assist. Matecki had a goal and a team-best three draw controls, while Taryn Burkholder caused three turnovers in the game.

The victory extends the Stags conference-record regular season win streak to 25 games.

Fairfield returns to action on April 4 when it travels to New Rochelle, N.Y. for a 3:00 p.m. game with Iona.

2012-03-31



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