Purple Division Finals: Fairfield Stuns Farmingdale in Overtime

by Justin Miller

The Purple Division playoffs ended with a major upset as #3 Fairfield took down #1 Farmingdale in a 4-3 overtime win. It was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with Fairfield drawing first blood. Brendan Cullen went top shelf on a shot from the point during their first power play of the game. It was his third goal and fifth point of the tournament. It took Farmingdale until the second period to formulate a response, with Sean O’Donell unleashing a strong wrister from the circle. But the Stags were quick to answer back, as William Leary beat Jake Temkin with another point shot. 

Down by one again, the Rams began to turn the tide of this championship game. Jason Brennan cleaned up a rebound on a power play chance to knot this game at two. Then, with just under two minutes left in the second, O’Donnell scored his second goal of the game on a backhanded shot into the top corner. This was O’Donnell’s third goal of the tournament. 

Farmingdale was efficient in protecting their one-goal lead, and took that 3-2 lead late into the third. Getting desperate for the game-tying goal, Fairfield pulled their goalie. They fought until the eight seconds remained, and that was when Connor Morrow scored the equalizer after a scrum in front of the net. After forcing the game into overtime, the Stags came out triumphant. They had numbers in front of the Farmingdale net, giving Brendan Burke the opportunity to set up Ned Malolepszy with the perfect pass to bury the game-winner. This cemented the Fairfield Stags as the 2023-24 Empire Conference Purple Division champions. 

“It feels pretty surreal right now, I can’t believe that just happened,” said Malolepzsy on his game winner. There was also a great sense of pride in this win, as Fairfield overcame a 0-6 start to finish as a top-three seed and eventually win the Empire. “I don’t think anyone thought we were going to make it here, but we’re leaving with some hardware,” said Malolepzsy. This championship win marks Fairfield’s third in the Empire Conference playoffs. 

3 Stars of the Game 

1. Fairfield, Ned Malolepzsy: GWG and assist

2. Fairfield, Brendan Cullen, PPG, assist

3. Farmingdale, Sean O’Donnell: 2 goals