The Fairfield University men's lacrosse team opened its 2009 season with a 10-9 win over the visiting University of Delaware on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, in the debut of Stags first-year head coach Andy Copelan. The win marks the eighth straight season the Stags begin a year at 1-0, while the Blue Hens fall to 1-2.
The Stags received goals from five different players, led by the three tallies of Nick Baglio (Brightwaters, N.Y.). Rookies Brent Adams (Norwalk, Conn.) and John Snellman (Norwalk, Conn.) and senior Chris Ajemian (Duxbury, Mass.) each touched net twice, while Dan Hettler (Liverpool, N.Y.) scored once.
Fairfield never trailed in the game as Adams scored his first collegiate goal 6:26 into the first quarter. Baglio made it 2-0 with his first of the contest 50 seconds later. The Blue Hens tallied a pair of goals to knot the score, 2-2, the last coming with a second remaining in the first quarter.
Fairfield scored four straight goals to open the second quarter, with Adams netting his second of the game 13 seconds into the period. Snellman touched net twice, 31 seconds apart, to extend the lead to 5-2. Hettler gave the Stags their largest lead of the game with 1:51 left in the half, putting home a pass from Ajemian.
The third quarter saw both teams touch net four times, with the Blue Hens creeping to within in a goal twice, 7-6 and 8-7, but could never get the equalizer. The Stags ended the third quarter with back-to-back goals from Baglio to push the lead back to three goals, 10-7.
The Blue Hens scored the only goals of the fourth quarter, making it 10-8 at the 11:34 mark and closing to 10-9 with a goal with 38 seconds to play in the game. Fairfield won the final face-off of the game, but the Blue Hens forced a turnover with 21 seconds to play. The Stags knocked the ball loose shortly later, in their defensive end, and the ensuing scramble for the ball did not end until there was four seconds remaining, and with the Blue Hens on their side of the field, unable to get off a potential game-tying shot.
Charlie Cipriano (Williston Park, N.Y.) earned the win in net for the Stags in his first collegiate start. He made 14 saves, with five coming in the fourth quarter, including a point-blank stop on Andrew Unthank (Wilmington, Del.). Noah Fossner (Niskayuna, N.Y.) made 11 saves for the Blue Hens in taking the loss.
Pat Lombard (Ambler, Pa.) tallied four goals for the Blue Hens, while Curtis Dickson (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) tallied a pair of goals. In doing so the Blue Hens junior equaled the Delaware school record with a goal in 28 consecutive games.
Fairfield will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 28, when it travels to Ohio State for a noon contest.