Canisius (10-5, 6-1 MAAC) vs. Fairfield (11-4, 6-1 MAAC)
When: Saturday, April 26
Location: Demske Sports Complex
Live Video/Live Stats: Available through GoGriffs.com
Scouting the Griffs
• Canisius enters Saturday’s contest riding a five-game win streak in which the team is averaging 19 goals per game.
• The Griffs are outscoring their opponents 51-20 in the first half of their last five contests.
• Canisius has also controlled possession during its win streak, losing the draw control battle only once during the last five contests.
• Canisius will honor its four seniors – midfielder Maria Kotas and defenders Gabby Kotas, Stephanie Schmalz and Taylor Smith - prior to the start of Saturday’s game.
• Maria Kotas enters Saturday’s game with 184 career points on 125 goals and 59 assists. She has also amassed 166 ground balls, 173 draw controls and 102 caused turnovers in her career. The senior currently ranks fifth in points, fourth in goals and assists, second in ground balls and draw controls and third in caused turnovers in Canisius history. She earned MVP honors during the 2013 MAAC Championship and has been a three-time selection to the All-Tournament Team. Kotas was also selected to the All-MAAC First team in 2013 and Second Team in 2011 and 2012. Kotas also set the Griffs’ single-game points record at 14 against Quinnipiac this season, which was the most points scored in an NCAA Division I contest since 2007.
• Gabby Kotas enters Saturday’s game with 67 games played as a Griff, including having started 30-consecutive games entering Saturday. An All-MAAC Second Team selection in 2012, Kotas has 92 career ground balls, 16 draw controls and 40 caused turnovers in her career. Kotas helped anchor the program’s best ever scoring defense in 2013 by playing in all-19 contests and starting 17. Kotas set personal bests with 31 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers that season, but is on pace to set new personal bests in those categories, with 25 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers through the first 15 games of this season.
• Schmalz enters the Fairfield game having started every game of the 2014 campaign, having saved her best work for her senior season. Schmalz has already set career-bests in ground balls and caused turnovers this season, posting 19 and five already. Schmalz tied her single-game career bests in ground balls (4) and caused turnovers (2) in Canisius’ most recent win over Niagara on Wednesday. For her career, Schmalz has played in 52 games, collecting 30 ground balls, eight draw controls and seven caused turnovers.
• Smith enters Saturday coming off netting her first-career goal in the Niagara game on Wednesday. The defender turned attacker has played in 35 games for the Griffs over her four years. Smith has racked up nine ground balls, three draw controls and three caused turnovers as a Griff. Smith appeared in seven games in 2013 with three starts before missing the remainder of the season due to injury. Smith helped the program to its best scoring defensive season ever in 2013, highlighted by a career high three ground balls against Binghamton. The Ashburn, Ontario native has played in nine games for the Griffs this season.
Goals for Everyone!
• Twelve different Griffs found the back of the net in Wednesday’s win over Niagara.
• The 12 players recording a goal is the most in program history, topping the previous high of 11, which was tied earlier this season.
• Canisius has five players averaging two points per game or more this season. If that holds through the final stretch of the season it would be the first time in school history that the Griffs have received that point production from five players.
• Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, Canisius and Fairfield will meet in the 8 p.m. MAAC semifinal game on Friday, May 2.
• All that’s to be determined on Saturday is who will be the No. 2 seed and who will get the No. 3 seed.
• Marist clinched the No. 1 seed with a win on Wednesday, while Monmouth will represent the No. 4 seed in next weekend’s MAAC Championships.
Scouting the Stags
• Fairfield enters Saturday’s contest tied with the Griffs at 6-1 in league play.
• The Stags are allowing a league-best 6.93 goals per game, while the Griffs own the league’s most potent offense at 14.27 goals per game.
• Farfield is led offensively by Melanie Raso, who has amassed 50 points thus far.
• Chelsey Sidaras has started every game in net for the Stags and is allowing just 6.78 goals per game. She boasts a .465 save percentage with 86 saves on the year.
• This will be the 19th meeting between the two programs.
• Fairfield leads the all-time series with a record of 12-6 against Canisius.
• The Griffs and Stags last met on April 13, 2013 at Fairfield, with Canisius taking the contest 13-6.
• Maria Kotas has a game-high four goals in that contest, with junior attackers Whitley Perry (two goals) and Meghan Cuddy (one goal) each finding the back of the net as well.
• Junior goalkeeper Kayla Scully played all-60 minutes, stopping a season-high 12 shots in the win.