Fairfield Outguns Siena to Go 6-0 in the MAAC

Fairfield defeated Siena, 16-11, to compete its fifth consecutive undefeated MAAC regular season Saturday afternoon on Lessing Field. The win improves to the Stags to 12-3 on the year, and they complete the MAAC slate at 6-0, winning a conference-record 30 consecutive regular season games. The Saints fall to 6-10 on the year and 3-3 in the MAAC.

Siena scored the first goal of the game, when Michelle Andreo netted an unassisted goal 3:35 into the game. It would be the Saints only lead of the game as Fairfield responded with seven unanswered goals. Jenna Slowey tied the score, netting a pass from Chloe Mangan, at the 22:44 mark and Mangan would put the Stags ahead 2-1 51 seconds later. Melanie Raso scored twice during the run, with Jamie Leone, Kate McKinley and Slowey each scoring to give Fairfield a 7-1 edge with 14:18 to play in the half. Deirdre McQuillan scored consecutive goals at 13:15 and 12:30, to stop the Stags run, and close the deficit to four goals, 7-3.

Amanda Best scored a free position goal 9:25 before intermission and was followed 66 seconds later by Raso to push the lead back to 9-3. Michelle Andrew scored back-to-back, 13 seconds apart to answer for the Saints, at 6:28 and 6:15, which Mangan answered at 5:17. Kristin McMillan rounded out the first-half scoring with a Siena tally with 3:14 left to make the halftime score 10-6 Fairfield.

Raso got the scoring going in the second-half for Fairfield, and after a McMillan goal got Siena back within four, 11-7, the Stags rattled off three straight goals. Raso scored her fifth at 24:57 and was followed by Best (23:10) and Caitlin Townsend (19:53) to push the advantage to 14-7. The Saints scored the next three goals to close within four, 14-10, with 10:34 to play, but would get no closer. Mangan would score with 8:30 and 5:20 to play in regulation to push the lead back to six, 16-10. Katie Maguire scored with 57 seconds to play for Siena to provide the final margin.

Mangan finished with a game-high six points, scoring four times and handing out two assists. Raso touched net five times, including the game-winner, and finished with three draw controls, two caused turnovers and two ground balls. Best and Slowey both had three points, with two goals, while Leone added a goal and an assist.

Katie Keenan earned her 11th win of the year in net for the Stags as she stopped six shots, against 10 goals, in her 57:18 of action. Kelley Brady minded the net for the final 2:42, stopping two shots against one goal. Kristin Concordia made seven saves, with two ground balls, in playing the entire game in net for Siena.

Andreo and McQuillan both had four points for the Saints, with four goals from Andreo and McQuillan going for three goals and an assist. McMillan also had three tallies for Siena, while Maguire had a goal and an assist. McMillan had a game-best five draw controls for Siena.

Fairfield finished with a 16-13 edge in draw controls in the game, with a 16-12 edge in ground balls. The Stags also outshot the Saints 27-24.

Fairfield is the top-seed in the 2012 MAAC Championships, April 27-29 at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. The Stags will take on fourth-seeded Siena at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, as the Saints, who tied with Marist and Iona for third, won the tiebreaker due to defeating Iona during the regular season. The host Griffs are the second seed and will take on #3 seed Marist at 8:00 p.m. Friday, with the winners meeting in the title game Sunday at noon.

* * * *

Siena may have lost their regular season finale Saturday 16-11 at Fairfield, but that news paled in comparison to the good news the Saints received. With Iona's loss earlier in the day to Canisius, Siena won a tiebreaker and clinched a berth in the MAAC Championships for a third straight season and just the fourth time in program history.

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