Women's Lacrosse Loses Season Opener To Fairfield, 17-11

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team fell to non-conference opponent Fairfield in its season opener, 17-11, on Friday afternoon at Lessing Field. The loss drops Quinnipiac's record to 0-1 on the young season, while Fairfield improves to 2-0 on the year.

"We came out tight and started the game playing scared," said head coach Danie Caro. "We let Fairfield set the tempo and dug a very deep hole we couldn't get out of."

Fairfield struck early and often following the game's opening whistle, netting the first six goals of the contest within the first five minutes of play. Freshman attacker Melanie Raso scored her only two goals of the contest in that time frame, while sophomore midfielder Chloe Mangan tallied her first of an eventual team-high four goals during the streak. Caitlin Townsend (two goals), and senior attackers Jenna Slowey (three goals) and Katie Mackay each contributed a goal as well.

The Bobcats halted the Stags' momentum momentarily, as junior attacker Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) tallied her first of six goals on the afternoon with 25:23 remaining in the first half. On the play, she was assisted by junior midfielder Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.), who accumulated a team-high two assists and five draw controlls in the contest. On the afternoon overall, Quinnipiac held a slight advantage over Fairfield in draw controls, 17 to 13.

"Marissa had a very good game on offense and made some things happen for us," said Caro. "It was nice to see her pick up where she left off last year when she was injured."

Sophomore attacker Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored 35 second later on an unassisted goal to bring the score to 6-2.

The Stags proceeded to compile its second six-unanswered goal streak of the half to extend its lead to 12-2 with 7:58 remaining. Senior midfielder Brittany Bare scored her first of two goals in the game, followed by two quick strikes from sophomore attacker Amanda Best. Slowley, Townsend and Mangan netted consecutive goals to finish the barrage.

Caroleo scored her second goal of the game on the first free position goal of the contest with 4:04 remaining to bring the score to 12-3. Slowley tallied the final goal of the half with 50 second remaining to send the teams into the locker rooms with the score 13-3.

Following a goal from Caroleo just under a minute into the second half, Mangan (the reining 2010 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year) netted two quick free position goals for Fairfield to increase the lead 15-4. Caroleo and the Bobcats traded the next two goals, as the junior's fourth and fifth goals of the contest were separated by a goal from Fairfield's Bare and junior midfielder Katie Phillips.

Despite falling behind by as much as 11 goals midway through the second half, the Bobcats refused to lay down to the Stags. Quinnipiac climbed back into the game, netting the final five goals (and seven of the last nine) to finish the game strong.

"I was pleased that we kept fighting hard all game, even when we weren't playing well. Hopefully we can build off the momentum we generated in the second half."

Quinnipiac proceeded to dominate the final five minutes of play, as senior attacker Jennifer Skipper (Centerport, N.Y.) began the run, scoring a goal with 4:50 remaining. Senior attacker Laura Iannotti (Rocky Point, N.Y.) tallied her first of two goals, followed by a goal from Caroleo to bring the score to 17-9. Freshman attacker Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) scored her first career goal with 2:03 remaining, followed by Iannotti's tally, the final goal of the contest.

Starting goalkeeper Lexi DeStefano (Brookfield, Conn.) turned away two shots on the afternoon before departing with just under ten minutes remaining in the first period. Her replacement Noelle Martello (Westbury, Conn.) played the remainder of the game in the net for Quinnipiac, making four saves overall. Fairfield's Katie Keenan made nine saves in the victory, while Kelley Brady, who saw just under ten minutes of action, turned away two shots.

Quinnipiac return to action this Sunday, Feb. 27 at 12 p.m. when they host Connecticut in the season home-opener at Quinnipiac Lacrosse Turf Field.