Visiting Stags Down the Mountain Hawks

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Fairfield took down Lehigh, 9-4, Tuesday at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Despite taking the early 1-0 lead, the Stags answered with five straight goals and held the lead for the remainder of the game.

“I thought we had a better effort all over,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “I thought we played harder. It's a shame and it's disappointing when you don't win, but we definitely did some things that we set out to do and I think that's important to recognize.”

Sophomore Carli Sukonik led Lehigh's attack with two goals, scoring the first goal of the game as well as the final goal of the half before time expired. Senior Julie McBrien added one in between Sukonik's bookends and Lehigh finished the first half down by only two goals, 5-3.

“We felt good about that first half,” said Redfern. “Fairfield is a good and experienced team so to keep it close after a half I thought was important for us. Unfortunately, we didn't shoot the ball well enough to stay in it the rest of the way.”

Fairfield extended its lead by two goals within the first three minutes of the second half. Freshman Kendall Garden scored Lehigh's only goal in the second half right with 25:30 on the clock. Sixteen minutes of scoreless action followed, eventually broken by a goal off a Fairfield free position shot with 9:15 left in the game. The Stags quickly followed with their final goal with 8:05 remaining; Jenna Slowey's third goal of the game made it 9-4, which stood as the final.

Fairfield outshot Lehigh 26-17 and also led in draw controls, 9-5. Each team finished with 11 groundballs, including three apiece from sophomores Kelly Scott and Kelsey Yenco. Junior goalie Alexandra Fitzpatrick was strong in the cage for Lehigh, finishing with a total of 11 saves, four more than Fairfield's Katie Keenan.

The Mountain Hawks remain home for their third straight when they host Bucknell Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in a key Patriot League showdown.

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Fairfield won for the third time in four outings, and the second consecutive game, defeating host Lehigh, 9-4, Wednesday afternoon in Bethlehem, Pa. The victory improves the Stags to 5-4 on the year, while the Mountain Hawks fall to 2-6.

Lehigh scored first, 2:26 into the game when Carli Sukonik scored an unassisted goal. The Stags scored the next five goals, starting when Jenna Slowey netted a pass from Chloe Mangan at the 19:40 mark to tie the score, 1-1. Amanda Best put the Stags head 88 seconds later with an unassisted tally, and Mangan followed with a free position goal at the 17:24 mark to put Fairfield ahead 3-1.

Slowey scored her second of the game, on a free position goal, at the 11:32 mark, for a 4-1 edge, and Courtney Chmil made it 5-1 with an unassisted goal with 5:05 to play before halftime. Julie McBrien ended the run with a tally with 2:37 remaining and Sukonik brought the Mountain Hawks within two, 5-3, with her second with just one second remaining before halftime.

The Stags tagged two early goals in the second-half with consecutive unassisted goals, the first from Chmil at 28:14 and 41 seconds later Kelly Fenton to make the score 7-3. Kendall Garden answered the Fairfield tallies with her first of the contest at the 25:30 mark and the score remained 7-4 in favor of the Stags until Best put a free position shot into the back of the net with 9:15 remaining in the half. Slowey gave the Stags a five-goal advantage with 8:05 to play, completing her hat trick from a Best assist.

Katie Keenan earned the win in net for the Stags making seven saves and recording two ground balls. Alex Fitzpatrick took the loss, stopping 11 shots for Lehigh. Slowey paced the Stags offense with her three goals, while Best also finished with three points on two goals and an assist. Chmil also had two goals, while Mangan finished with a goal and an assist.

Fairfield finished with a9-5 edge in draw controls, with Chmil capturing a game-high three. Both teams collected 11 ground balsl in the contest, a category Mangan collected a game-best four in. The Stags caused seven of the Mountain Hawks 14 turnovers, with two by Kerry Lowth.

Fairfield returns to action next Wednesday when they host Cal on Alumni Field at 3:00 p.m.


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