Niagara Drops MAAC Contest to Fairfield

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Niagara dropped an 18-7 conference decision to the Fairfield Stags on Saturday afternoon at Niagara Field.

Sophomore Carrie-Jo Farrugia led the Niagara attack with two goals and an assist, while senior Katherine Pille had a goal and an assist.

Niagara fell to 4-9 with the loss and 0-3 in MAAC play, while Fairfield improved to 7-6 overall and 2-1 in the league.

“There were some bright moments today, unfortunately we did not do the little things consistently well enough to be in the game,” head coach Wendy Stone said. “We look forward to having a week to prepare to face Iona on Saturday.”

Fairfield jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead off goals from Courtney Chmil and Amanda Best, but the Purps countered with a tally from Maria Battista. Pille connected with Battista from behind the net and the junior whipped a shot past Fairfield goaltender Katie Keenan for her 18th goal of the season.

The Stags would score the next four goals of the contest before Farrugia made it 6-2 with 17:45 on the clock with a low, left corner score.

Three different Fairfield players beat NU goalie Paige Sasser in the final 16 minutes of play, but it was Pille who tallied the final goal of the half to make it 9-3 heading into intermission. It was the senior's fifth goal of the year off an assist from Farrugia.

Coming out of the locker room with a 9-3 lead, the Stags kept the Purple Eagles winless in the MAAC by outscoring Niagara 9-4 in the final 30 minutes to earn the 18-7 win.

The teams would trade goals in the opening six minutes of play, with Niagara getting on the board first in the second half off a free position goal by Farrugia. After Danielle Maio scored the Purple Eagles' fifth goal of the game, Fairfield would answer with three straight to push its lead to 13-5 with 19:45 remaining in the contest.

Niagara's final pair of goals in the game came from Fran Pollastro and Farrugia, but the Stags' offense continued to pepper the NU net with five more tallies for its 17thstraight victory over the Purple Eagles since the series began in 1997.

For the game, Fairfield outshot Niagara 36-23 and also held leads in draw controls 16-10, ground balls 14-13 and caused turnovers 6-4. Individually, Maio won three draw controls, and picked up four ground balls.

Sasser made 12 saves on the game.

Niagara's next game will take place in New Rochelle, N.Y. on Saturday, April 13 as the Purple Eagles take on the Iona Gaels at 1:00 p.m.

* * * *

Fairfield had eight players score in the first half and never trailed on its way to an 18-7 MAAC victory over host Niagara on Saturday afternoon in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The Stags improve to 7-6 on the year and 2-1 in league play, while the Purple Eagles fall to 4-9 overall and 0-3 in the MAAC.

Courtney Chmil, who finished with a hat trick, wasted little time getting the Stags on the board after Chloe Mangan won the opening draw. Jenna Fuchs fed Chmil 44 seconds into the game for the 1-0 lead. Chmil collected the ensuing draw leading to an Amanda Best goal 52 seconds later for the 2-0 lead. Chmil answered a Niagara tally at the 27:48 mark with her second off the game 41 ticks later to give Fairfield a 3-1 lead.

That Chmil tally was the first of a 4-0 Fairfield run that saw goals from Caitlin Townsend (24:13), Fuchs (22:07) and Jamie Leone (20:33) to build a 6-1 advantage. Niagara momentarily stymied the run with a Carrie-Jo Farrugia goal at the 17:45 mark, but Maeve Quinn answered for the Stags with an unassisted goal with 16:23 to play in the first-half, pushing the lead to 7-2.

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