HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team went toe-to-toe with nationally-ranked No. 15 Fairfield on Tuesday evening, but a flurry of fourth quarter goals secured a non-conference victory, 15-10, for the visiting Stags on a rainy day at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field.
Quinnipiac (5-6) was led by Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) who recorded his second straight and third three-point outing of the season. He finished with two goals and an assist, upping his season totals to 10 goals and four assists. Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ontario) and Connor Meth (Basking Ridge, N.J.) each had two goals, and Tom Gilligan (Brookfield, Conn.) cashed in with a goal and an assist.
Quinnipiac and Fairfield played fairly even through the first three quarters and into the final 15 minutes. After holding a 7-5 lead at the break, the Stags rallied off four of the game's next six goals to take an 11-7 lead with 14:46 remaining in regulation. However, Quinnipiac had an answer.
The Bobcats took advantage of its lone man-up opportunity of the game, when Henry Graves (Stamford, Conn.) slipped in his third goal of the season off a feed from Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.). Then it was Meth's turn, as the sophomore scored his second goal of the game – bring the Bobcats to within two, 11-9.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Bobcats' upset bid would come, as four unanswered goals stretched Fairfield's lead to six. Nate Nibbelink (Hampstead, Md.) netted Quinnipiac's 10th goal of the game with 1:36 seconds remaining to cap off the game's scoring summary.
Zach Vehar (Hudson, Ohio), the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, was strong for a second straight game. He went 14-of-28 from the X, while scoring a goal and picking up 10 ground balls. Tom McNaney (Marcellus, N.Y.) and Evan Weldon (Westchester, Pa.) each added an assist as well.
On the other side of the ball, Jack Brust (Baltimore, Md.) got the nod in goal, making 10 saves for the Bobcats. It was his first career 10-save game. As a team, Quinnipiac caused eight turnovers – which included a career high of three for Chris Kendall (Dublin, Ohio). Carmen French (Baltimore, Md.) and Meth chipped in with two apiece.
Fairfield, who saw a lengthy winning streak come to an end this past weekend, improved to 10-3 overall. TJ Neubauer led all scorers with six goals and an assist. Tristen Sperry also completed a hat trick. Fairfield's defense forced 12 of Quinnipiac's 20 turnovers in the game. Jack Murphy made five saves in goal for the Stags.
Sagl's assist in the fourth quarter extended his point streak to 30 straight games. His streak is tied for the 13th longest active streak in the nation.
Quinnipiac is back in action with a crucial MAAC game on Saturday, April 19 against Siena College. The Saints are undefeated in league play, while the Bobcats need a victory to secure a spot in the playoffs. Faceoff is set for 12 p.m. at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field.
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