Fairfield Hands Niagara First Conference Loss of the Season

FAIRFIELD, Conn. Niagara was defeated by Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Fairfield, 19-7, on Saturday afternoon at Lessing Field in the team's first league game of the season.

The loss drops Niagara's record to 3-5 on the year, and 0-1 in MAAC play, while the Stags improve to 6-3 overall, and 1-0 in conference action.

Maria Battista led the way for Niagara with three goals on the day, while Danielle Maio added three points off two goals and an assist. Paige Matecki and Erin Patendaude chipped in with a goal apiece, and Carrie-Jo Farrugia had one assist in the losing effort.

Matecki led the team with eight draw control wins, while seven Purple Eagles forced at least one turnover. Overall, the Stags collected a 22-to-11 advantage in groundballs, as well as a 31-to-14 advantage shots. The draw control race between NU and Fairfield was deadlocked at 14 wins apiece.

Julie Mascera started the scoring for the Stags two minutes into the contest, starting a seven-goal run for Fairfield which was piggy-backed by Jamie Leone and Colleen Reynolds who scored a pair of goals each.

Battista halted the run with 14:49 left in the first half, but the Stags would answer with three more tallies courtesy of Alex Fehmel, Rile Hellstein and Jenna Slowey. Maio would score the Purple Eagles final pair of goals in the half, but Fairfield's Melanie Raso and Fehmel put away another pair of goals to take a 12-3 lead into the break.

Fairfield opened the second half with a goal from Reynolds, but Niagara fought back into the game and managed to cut the deficit with two straight goals. Matecki and Patenaude scored within a 48 second span to get the Purple Eagles within eight at the 23:19 mark. However, the Stags were continued to push offensively, as Fairfield concluded its scoring summary with six more goals before the final whistle. Battista would add second and third tallies in the final five minutes to wrap up the afternoon.

Freshman goalie Andrea Francisco started in goal for Niagara and made 10 saves, eight coming in the first half.

The Purple Eagles look to rebound when they take on Detroit in the team's final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday, April 2 at 3:00 p.m. at Niagara Field.

The team will hold its Pink Out game during their tilt against the Titans. There will be t-shirts for purchase along with raffles and giveaways with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Admission to the women's lacrosse game will be free, though donations will be accepted.

2014-03-29



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