TOWSON, Md. – In the lowest-scoring final in CAA history, Fairfield University men’s lacrosse team fell to top-seeded and No. 11 nationally-ranked Towson, 4-2, in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game on Saturday at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Stags had won their third consecutive regular season conference championship this season, a campaign which ends with a record of 9-8. Fairfield has posted five consecutive winning seasons and has never been below .500 in eight years under the direction of Head Coach Andy Copelan.
The lows score supplanted the 16 goals scored in Delaware’s 9-7 win at UMass in 2011 by a wide margin. On Saturday, Fairfield kept Towson off the board for the first 31:08 of play, while the Stags were held scoreless for the final 37:24 of action.
Fairfield had upended third-seeded Hofstra, 11-8, on Thursday to record their first-ever CAA postseason win in the semifinal round. Towson downed Drexel, 10-6, in the semifinals to set-up the matchup of the Association’s two regular season champions.
Senior Charlie Schnider notched an unassisted tally this afternoon, while sophomore Charlie Horning’s goal was assisted by rookie sensation Colin Burke, who ends his freshman season as the CAA co-Player and Rookie of the Year with 63 points.
Horning also scooped up five ground balls, many of which extended Fairfield possessions in the attacking area. Joe Guidarelli added a pair of ground balls, and Will Fox went 6-of-10 at the faceoff ‘X’ with two ground balls of his own.
First Team All-CAA goalkeeper Tyler Behring made 11 saves in the cage. Matt Borda anchored the defensive unit in front of him with four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Schnider, Burke and Behring represented the Stags on the CAA All-Championship Team. Burke totaled eight points in two games – five goals and three assists – with Schnider scoring a goal and with three assists for the weekend and Behring making 25 saves with 12 goals allowed for a .714 save percentage.
Tyler White made 15 saves for the Tigers, who claim their second consecutive CAA Championship.
Defense and goalkeeping highlighted a scoreless first quarter. Behring made two saves in the frame, including a stop from his knees after the Tigers’ initial attempt rang off the post. Borda, TJ Neubauer and Ryan Antell each registered a caused turnover in the quarter to help keep Towson off the board.
The Stags’ offense got going in the second quarter with Schnider beating a defender and scoring unassisted to put Fairfield in front, 1-0, at the 13:11 mark. The second goal came at 7:24 with Horning converting a pass from Burke at the end of a possession that stretched for more than 2:30 of clock time. The Stags fought off a 30-second penalty in the final minute of the half to take their 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Towson would convert an extra-man opportunity early in the third quarter as Tyler Konen’s man-up goal cut the Fairfield lead to 2-1 at 13:52 in the frame. After more than 10 minutes of scoreless action, the Tigers pulled even when Ryan Drenner sent a skip pass over to Joe Seider, who netted the equalizer at the 3:09 mark in the third quarter. Spencer Parks then put the hosts in the lead, 3-2, with 1:40 remaining in the stanza – a lead that held into the fourth quarter.
Parks struck again to start the fourth quarter scoring, wrapping around and rattling the cage to extend the Tigers’ lead to 4-2 with 6:10 to go. A pair of Behring saves, including a point-blank shot from defenseman Mike Lowe in transition, kept the margin at two goals, but the Stags had several good opportunities turned away by White as time expired on a 4-2 final.
Towson defenseman Mike Lowe was named the Most Outstanding Player of the CAA Championship after helming a unit that ceded just eight goals in the weekend’s two games.