PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team will open the 2018 season vs. Fairfield (0-1) this Saturday, February 17. Opening face-off is slated for noon on Sweeney Field.
Live streaming of Saturday's home opener, the first of seven home games to be played on Sweeney Field this spring, will be available free of charge through NEC Front Row. For system requirements and best streaming practices, please visit: NEC Front Row. Live stats will also be provided at SJUHawks.com.
Under the direction of seventh-year head coach Taylor Wray, Saint Joseph's returns 18 Hawks, including five starters from a year ago, and welcomes 14 newcomers in 13 true freshmen and a graduate student transfer for the 2018 campaign. Senior attackman Chris Blewitt and senior long stick midfielder Austin Smith return as Northeast Conference First Team selections from a year ago; additionally, Inside Lacrosse tabbed Blewitt and Smith Preseason All-NEC selections while graduate student attackman Mike Rastivo was selected the publication's Preseason Player of the Year favorite.
To read the full 2018 season preview, please click here.
Saturday's game will mark the ninth all-time meeting between Saint Joseph's and Fairfield and the first in nearly two decades, since 1999. The Hawks and Stags met eight times between 1993-99, with SJU's last win coming in the form of a 13-10 regular-season victory at Fairfield on March 26, 1999. Fairfield moved from the ECAC Lacrosse League to the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2015 season, while Saint Joseph's moved from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Northeast Conference for the 2014 season, missing the opportunity to face each other during that span.
All-time series results listed below:
1999 - L - 17-9 - Neutral (ECAC Championship Tournament)
1999 - W - 13-10 - Away
1998 - L - 18-13 - Home
1997 - L - 16-12 - Away
1996 - L - 17-15 - Home
1995 - L - 21-12 - Away
1994 - W - 10-9 - Home
1993 - L - 11-6 - Away
Fairfield opened its season with a 12-5 home loss to Vermont on Saturday; backed by Joe Rodrigues (2g), five Stags recorded points. Vermont scored the first eight goals of the game as Fairfield's Sean McKee (8 GA, 3 saves) and Sam Gindhart (4 GA, six saves) split time evenly in net.
Fairfield went 5-9 and 2-3 in the CAA last spring. The Stags bring back 32 returners, including five starters and their top face-off specialist, to go with 13 newcomers. 2018 Preseason All-CAA attackman Colin Burke is Fairfield's top returning scorer, recording a team-best 26 goals and team-best 15 assists as a sophomore last spring.
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