Fairfield Zips by Manhattan to Clinch MAAC Berth

Fairfield clinched a berth in the 2012 MAAC tournament with a 14-4 win over Manhattan on Lessing Field Wednesday afternoon. The Stags improved to 9-3 overall and 4-0 in league play, while the Lady Jaspers fell to 3-9 on the year and 1-3 in league action.

Manhattan possessed the ball for larger portions of the first-half but Katie Keenan stopped each of the three shots that were put on cage. Meanwhile, the Stags scored four of their nine shots on net, to build a 4-0 advantage. Courtney Chmil started the scoring with an unassisted goal at 21:39 and was followed by free position tallies by Jenna Slowey (15:17), Amanda Best (9:58) and Melanie Raso (2:13) to account for the Fairfield goals.

The Lady Jaspers broke through 1:43 into the second-half when Donna Jo DiNorcia tallied a free position goal to make the lead 4-1. Raso answered that with coals within 42 seconds of each other, the first, unassisted at 27:30 and the second, to make it 6-1, from a Jamie Leone pass at 26:48. Chrissy Gutenberger scored for Manhattan at 22:07, but again the Stags rattled off a streak of goals.

Best netted her second with 20:00 to play in regulation and was followed by an unassisted goal from Leone 19 seconds later. Caitlin Townsend pushed the lead to 10-2 as she scored consecutive goals at 18:13 and 16:44. Manhattan scored at 16:16 on a Clare Kerrisk free position shot, but Townsend answered with a goal at 15:03 to make the lead 10-3. Raso (13:10) and Chmil (12:21) pushed the advantage to 13-3, before Kerrisk scored with 78 seconds left for Manhattan and Katie Carroll scored for the Stags with 21 seconds to play.

Raso finished the game with four goals to lead all scorers. She also had five draw controls, caused four turnovers and picked up two ground balls. Townsend had her three goals and Leone added three points on a goal and two assists, while Chmil and Best each scored twice. Slowey also had two points with a goal and an assist.

The Stags caused 17 turnovers on the afternoon, with Chmil and Erinn Hogan causing three apiece. Best led the way with four ground balls, as the Stags finished with 19 as a team.

Keenan earned the win in net for Fairfield with seven saves in 57:45 of action, while allowing just three goals. Kelley Brady stopped a shot, picked up a ground ball and allowed a goal in playing the final 2:15. Christin Fiorinelli stopped nine shots in playing the entire game for Manhattan, scooping up a team-best seven ground balls.

Kerrisk had two goals to lead Manhattan, while DiNorcia had a goal and an assist on the afternoon. Breana Leonard had a team-best two caused turnovers, while DiNorcia won three draw controls.

The victory is the Stags 28th consecutive regular season victory over a MAAC foe, extending the conference record.

Fairfield returns to action on Sunday as it travels to Quinnipiac for a noon game.

* * * *

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - On Wednesday afternoon, Manhattan visited a Fairfield squad that had won 27 consecutive MAAC regular season contests. Unfortunately for the Jaspers (3-9, 1-2 MAAC), that streak reached 28, as the first-place Stags (9-3, 4-0 MAAC) notched a 14-4 victory at Lessing Field.

Fairfield got on the board first when Courtney Chmil found the back of the net at the 21:39 mark of the first half. The Stags added three free position tallies later in the period to take a 4-0 advantage into halftime.

Manhattan trimmed its deficit to three when Donna Jo DiNorcia (Verona, N.J.) scored a free position goal with 28:13 remaining in the second half, but Fairfield quickly responded with two goals in a 42-second span to make it 6-1. DiNorcia connected with Chrissy Gutenberger (Stony Point, N.Y.) for a tally that brought the Jaspers within 6-2 at the 22:07 mark before the Stags rallied for four consecutive goals. Clare Kerrisk (Keansburg, N.J.) scored a pair of late goals for the Jaspers before Fairfield finished out the scoring. With the 14-4 victory, the Stags clinched a berth in the MAAC Tournament.

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2012-04-11



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