The Canisius College women’s lacrosse team cruised to its school-record ninth-straight victory with a 13-6 win at Fairfield on Saturday. The Griffs also clinched at least a share of their first MAAC regular-season title with the win, taking the crown away from the Stags, who had won each of the last five regular-season championships. Canisius is now 11-3 on the season and a perfect 5-0 in MAAC play, while Fairfield drops to 8-7 and 3-2 against league foes.
The nine-game winning streak for Canisius tops the previous mark of eight, set during the 2011 season. A rematch of each of the last two MAAC Championships – both won by Canisius – the Griffs also handed Fairfield its first home loss in conference play since April 1, 2007, breaking the Stags’ 19-game MAAC winning streak at Lessing Field.
“Today was a great team win,” said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. “We are playing our best lacrosse of the season right now and were excellent in all three areas of the field – offense, defense and in transition. We continue to improve each day and I’m excited to see how far we can take this.”
Senior Morgan Leonard and junior Maria Kotas both led the Griffs offense with four goals in the win. Senior Lindsey Morgan and sophomore Whitley Perry each added two tallies, while sophomore Meghan Cuddy rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal.
Sophomore Kayla Scully anchored a strong Canisius defense in the win, matching her career high with 12 saves for the Griffs. Leonard also recorded a game-high three caused turnovers as Canisius held its opponent to six or fewer goals in its sixth-straight game and for the eighth time this season.
The Griffs jumped out to the early lead in the contest and never looked back. Kotas and Morgan traded goals twice in the opening 7:39 as Canisius claimed a quick 4-0 advantage. Fairfield finally got on the scoreboard with 19:14 left in the opening half but Kotas completed her hat trick with 15:25 left and Leonard added her first two goals of the game less than two minutes apart for a 7-1 lead. Both schools added one final tally in the first, including a goal by Leonard with just 15 seconds remaining, as Canisius headed into the intermission with an 8-2 lead.
Canisius continued to control the game in the second stanza, never allowing the Stags to get closer than five goals the remainder of the contest. Cuddy and Leonard scored the first two goals of the half for a 10-2 lead with 16 minutes remaining. The Stags answered with three tallies in a 4:03 span to pull back within five, 10-5, but the Griffs put the game out of reach with the next three goals. Fairfield scored one final tally in the game for the 13-6 final score.
The Griffs outshot the Stags, 27-22, in the win with both teams winning 10 draw controls. Canisius also forced the Stags into 15 turnovers, while committing only nine on its end.
Chloe Mangan led Fairfield with two goals in the loss. Katie Keenan earned the defeat in net for the Stags, allowing six goals in 18:36 of action.
Canisius takes a break from MAAC action and looks to extend its winning streak with a game at nationally-ranked Boston College next weekend. The Griffs and 19th-ranked Eagles are set to meet next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius can clinch the outright MAAC title and the tournament’s number one seed with a win over Marist on April 27 … The only other time Canisius won eight-straight games, the winning streak came to an end at Fairfield … The Griffs have outscored their opponents, 136-49, during their nine-game winning streak (average of 15.1 to 5.4) … Canisius has won its five MAAC games by an average score of 14.4 to 4.4 … Leonard scored a career-best four goals for the seventh-straight game and for the 10th time in 14 games this season … Kotas also matched her personal best with four goals in the win.