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Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Fairfield

We’re breaking down all the NCAA D1 teams one by one. Welcome to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We are now at teams starting with the letter ‘F’ (there are no D1 teams that start with ‘E’, interestingly enough!)  and Fairfield, located in Fairfield, CT, is up for Preview!

2012 was a truly solid year for the Stags lacrosse program. The team finished the year at 12-4, and they opened up last year with seven consecutive wins, three straight of which were in double OT, triple OT, and regular OT. In their first top 20 game of the year, Fairfield lost to Colgate 12-6, and their other three losses were to Ohio State and Loyola (twice). Fairfield lost to the eventual national champs 8-6 in April, and two weeks later they beat Denver in OT. Fairfield won a ton of close games in 2012, so can they repeat that same success in 2013?

My immediate read is that 2013 could be a little bit tougher. This feeling comes from Fairfield’s schedule, which is difficult, and represents a step up from the 2012 version. The Stags will play their ECAC foes again (OSU, Loyola, Denver, Air Force, Hobart), but they will also face Bellarmine, Stony Brook, UMBC, Navy, UNC, Hofstra, Michigan, Quinnipiac, Yale, and Bryant. With a tough OOC schedule and an improved Air Force and Hobart, none of those games are easy wins.

Sam Snow will lead the way for the Fairfield attack, and in his senior year, it would be nice to see him step up and produce even bigger numbers. He has great 43 point season last year. Joining Snow as a captain will be Marshall Johnson, a midfielder who truly does it all for the Stags. Drew Federico, Colin McLinden, and Eric Warden are three other guys to watch for the Stags on offense.

The big hole for Farfield is definitely in goal. It’s not to say that the hole can’t be filled, but it’s a definite hole. Charlie Cipriano is gone, but Jack Murphy and Conor Fraylich both return after seeing limited time. Fairfield has two more goalies on their roster right now, and both of them are freshman. It will be interesting to see if Tom Branca or Erich Wischmeyer can step in and start in their first year.

Defensively, Fairfield returns starter Greg Perraut, and also brings back Dan Niebler, Gary Davies, and Matt Rubertone, all of whom have some experience. As Fairfield brings back plenty of scoring, good experience in the midfield, and two solid face off guys, defense and goalie quickly become the most pressing questions. If they can fill these gaps, the Stags could be on their way to another great season. If not, a couple of those close wins can turn into close losses, and that could potentially mean a .500 season for Fairfield.

Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, and Duke!