The Bison had a big day with the face-off against Fairfield, where Sam Hahn ’18 and Jarett Witzal ’19 combined to win 19 of the 25 draws. The Orange and Blue men’s lacrosse team advanced their season record to 3-0 after their 13-8 win on Feb. 20 at Rafferty Stadium. Witzal is now 41-for-58 at the face-off on the season.
The Orange and Blue held possession for the majority of the game, outshooting Fairfield 60-19. Sean Doyle ’16 tallied an impressive three goals and two additional assists for the Bison. Matt Gilray ’18 scored with just over six minutes left in the third quarter, breaking the 6-6 tie and giving the Bison a lasting lead in a game where neither team had led by more than one goal at any point. Just over a minute later, Tommy O’Connor ’17 scored and gave the Bison their first two-point lead of the game. Quinn Collison ’17 scored his first goal of the season in man-up situation for the Orange and Blue. With just under a minute left in the third quarter, Thomas Flibotte ’16 added a tally to the scoreboard, placing the Bison with a 10-6 lead over Fairfield.
Early into the fourth quarter, Will Sands ’18 scored the Bison’s fifth unanswered goal in a row. Fairfield’s moment of hope ended abruptly as Kyle Shanahan ’16 and Reed Malas ’19 scored back-to-back goals, giving the Orange and Blue a 13-7 lead.
Fairfield led 4-3 going into the second half of the game, despite the Bison’s 22-13 shot advantage. The Bison then fired off 25 shots and scored seven times in the third quarter. The Bison out-shot Fairfield 38-6 in the second half. Goalie Christian Klipstein ’19 recorded six saves, shutting down Fairfield’s minimal shot opportunities. In addition to Doyle’s hat trick, O’Connor and Gilray each added two goals to the scoreboard. Sands had a goal and two assists, while Connor O’Hara ’18 recorded one goal along with an assist.
Even though the Orange and Blue dominated the possession game, the Bison limited their turnovers to only 10, while Fairfield had 14. The Bison finished with a 36-17 edge in ground balls and went nine for eleven on clears. Witzal had seven ground balls, while Gilray and Alex Spring ’16 contributed an additional 12 combined.
This win was especially crucial to defenseman Benny Borgognone ’18, who transferred to the University from Fairfield in the fall.
“This was a big game for us. We continue to prove each week that we are getting better and smarter. This game was especially important for me. I’ve had this one circled on my schedule from day one. It was sort of a personal one for me. Can’t thank my teammates enough for rallying around me this week. This is truly a special group of guys that love competing for one another,” Borgognone said.
The Bison head into their first Patriot League game of the season with great momentum as they hit the road to compete against Colgate on Feb. 27.