No. 16 Fairfield Rallies to Earn Close Victory at Bryant

"Once Kevin [Massa] got into the groove, we could dictate the tempo, and from that we had our opportunities on offense," said Pressler. "We played much better defense that we did last week, and I thought Tom Carey had a very good game in goal in his first start as a freshman."

On the day, the Bulldogs would fire off 43 shots to Fairfield's 36 but saw just 17 of them go on net. Stag junior goalie Jack Murphy got a stick on 11 of them, with Carey making six saves in his first-career start. Bryant also won the battle of ground balls, 38-23, and went 1 for 4 on extra-man opportunities.

"At the end of the day, all the credit goes to Fairfield for making the plays they needed to in order to win the game," said Pressler. "We had the opportunity to put the scoreboard on our side, and we just didn't take advantage."

The Bulldogs have another equally challenging opponent up next, as the team hits the road for the first time this season to take on No. 18/18 Bucknell in the third of three-straight games against nationally ranked opponents, Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa.

* * * *

No. 16 Fairfield outscored host Bryant University 5-1 in the final 15:20 of play to earn an 8-6 win in the season opener in Smithfield, R.I. The Stags are now 1-0 on the year, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-2.

Bryant opened a 5-3 edge after a 5-1 run of its own from the middle of the first quarter through a third quarter goal from Peter McMahon with 8:22 to play in the third quarter. Tristan Sperry began the Stags comeback with an unassisted goal with 20 ticks remaining in the third quarter.

Jordan Greenfield then took over in the fourth quarter. He tied the game with an unassisted goal 2:51 into the period, his second of the game. Then 2:38 later he accepted a pass from Eric Warden and put it into the back of the net to give Fairfield a 6-5 advantage. The Stags advantage lasted just 85 seconds when Collins Gantz scored an unassisted goal for the Bulldogs to know the score once again, 6-6.

It was Greenfield, again unassisted, at 6:07, who put Fairfield in front for good with his fourth of the afternoon. Colin McLinden gave Fairfield a cushion with his first goal of the year with 1:44 remaining to provide the final margin of victory.

Greenfield led all scorers with his four points, while McLinden added three points with two assists. Five different players scored a goal for the Stags, with Tristan Sperry, Nick Guida, and Sam Snow touching net. Warden finished with two assists.

Bryant held a decided advantage at the face-off X, with the Stags going just 3-18 in the game, but Fairfield's defense was up to the task. Jack Murphy, making his first start as a Stag, made 11 saves in the game, with eight coming in the first half of play. Fairfield had nine caused turnovers in the outing, led by the three of Toby Armour.

The Stags jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Greenfield opened the scoring 5:06 into the game, when he put home a pass from McLinden. Guida scored 91 seconds later for the 2-0 advantage. Bryant rattled off three consecutive goals, the first from Bo Redpath the 7:33 mark of the first quarter, and the period ended with the Stags leading 2-1.

Shane Morrell scored 1:26 into the second quarter to tie the score, 2-2, and Brian Schlansker's goal at the 36 second mark of the period gave the Bulldogs their first lead, 3-2. Snow scored the equalizer for the Stags with 4:53 to play before intermission and the game went to the break, 3-3.

The Bulldogs struck twice in 26 seconds midway through the third quarter, with Dan Sipperly and Peter McMahon scoring to setup the Stags rally.

Murphy had six of the Stags 29 ground balls in the game, as well as a caused turnover.

The Stags host Navy in their home opener on Tuesday, February 19. The 3:00 p.m. game will be played at Alumni Field.

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2013-02-16



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