Freshman midfielder Patrick Kaschalk makes a pass in a game against Brown. Kaschalk’s hat-trick and two assists helped Stony Brook win its first game of the season against Fairfield. LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse came up with a victory for the first time in its last seven games overall, with an 11-9 win over Fairfield at Conway Field in Rafferty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Seawolves’ defense was a crucial factor throughout the matchup, as the team totaled for 40 ground balls, exceeding the 35 ground balls the Seawolves had accounted for in their past two games combined. Junior long stick middie Ryland Rees led the defensive effort with four ground balls and two forced turnovers in the game.

Rees leads the team with eight caused turnovers and ranks second on the team in ground balls with 10.

Throughout the first four games of the season, Stony Brook produced no more than four goals in the first half. This matchup saw the team notch nine in the first 30 minutes of play. Freshman midfielder Patrick Kaschalk led the offensive stride for Stony Brook, finishing the matchup with a hat-trick along with two assists. Kaschalk was credited with two of the team’s four goals in the second period. The freshman is now tied with sophomore attackman Tom Haun for second on the team in goals with six.

Head coach Jim Nagle was satisfied with the Seawolves’ ability to rebound as a unit after a rough start to their season.

“It was really great for the guys to bounce back and get a win today,” Nagle said in a press release. “I felt we pulled together and played for each other for the first time all year. We have lots of lacrosse left to play.”

Stony Brook improved greatly in its face-off battles. The team won 10 of its 23 faceoffs against Fairfield, compared to its previous game against Hofstra, when the team finished with just four face-off victories out of 20.

Fairfield had flawless success throughout the matchup in its man-advantage opportunities, scoring on all five attempts. Three of those opportunities took place in the first half, including the team’s opening goal scored by junior attackman McKay Sheahan with two minutes remaining in the first period.

Stony Brook’s offensive tempo slowed down in the second half, as the team scored just two goals in the third period to finish its scoring totals in the game. Fairfield made a dramatic run toward the end, scoring five straight goals starting with 1:15 left in the third period. The lead proved to be too much, however, as Stony Brook was able to hold on for the victory.

Despite being outshot, the Seawolves made the most of its opportunities. The team scored four goals out of its five shots on net in the first period. Haun accounted for half of the Seawolves goals in the opening period.

The Seawolves have one more game until they starting conference competition. The team travels back home for its next matchup against the University of Virginia on Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m. Virginia is currently undefeated and has combined for a dominating 62 goals in its past four games and is averaging 16 goals per game.