The motor is still sputtering for the Drexel University men’s lacrosse team. The Dragons dropped their first Colonial Athletic Association game of the season, a 7-4 loss to Fairfield University, March 28, falling to 4-6 on the season.
After two straight wins over the University of Michigan and Binghamton University, the Dragons were looking for their first three-game win streak of the season when they began conference play against the Stags. But the CAA newcomers were ready for the challenge.
Fairfield’s team entered the matchup having allowed just five goals or fewer in its two previous matches, including an 11-4 win over the same No. 20 Villanova University team that topped Drexel earlier this season.
The Stags’ defense continued to excel as they rolled into Vidas Field, stifling the Dragons from the jump. Drexel managed just one goal in the first two quarters of play, from junior Jules Raucci, his ninth of the season, despite outshooting Fairfield, 16-14.
But the Dragons trailed by just one goal at the halftime break, a theoretically encouraging sign for head coach Brian Voelker’s squad.
Instead, Fairfield struck in the first two minutes of the second half and twice extended their lead to two goals in the third quarter. The Stags’ T.J. Neubauer scored both third-quarter goals while Drexel senior Ryan Belka scored a pair of his own, his 19th and 20th goals of the year.
Fairfield’s 4-3 lead quickly stretched into a 5-3 gap by the time the first half of the final quarter had elapsed, and a scoreless stretch that lasted over 18 minutes doomed the Dragons in their quest to reach .500 for the first time this season. Junior Frank Fusco’s goal with 1:18 to play went for naught.
After the sixth loss of the year, the team’s offense is looking as sickly and uninspired as it has since the season began.
The loss marked the second time this season the Dragons have been held to four goals or fewer in a game, the first time coming in a 12-3 loss to the University of Maryland Feb. 28. The Dragons were never held below six goals last season.
Last season, the team averaged 11.6 goals per game in 18 outings. Through 10 outings this year, the Dragons averaging just 8.5 goals per game.
The Dragons return to action April 4 when they head to Hempstead, New York, to face Hofstra University (4-5, 1-0) at 1 p.m.