On Wednesday, Nov. 1, a cold night at Lessing Field, the Fairfield University Men’s soccer team accomplished one of their preseason goals: win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title. With a final score of 3-0 over visiting conference foe Rider, the Stags captured their first regular season crown since the 2011 campaign.
Before the game, the Stags’ seven seniors including Angus Hastings, Jordan Emsley, Charlie Reed, Jonathan Uy, Jack Robinson, Ben Wignall and Steven Valente were honored for their accomplishments and dedication to the program for the past four years. Wignall could not have asked for a better senior night. “It was very special. A lot of our parents traveled over from England for this game. The last few weeks everything has just gone right for us. Coming into tonight it couldn’t have gone any better,” said Wignall.
Offensively, it seemed as though the Stags couldn’t be stopped. They controlled possession of the ball often and attacked Rider at will. First-year Matt McGlinchey tallied the Stags first goal with a beautiful free kick from about 10 yards out. Fairfield took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime and continued to add to their lead early in the second half of play.
Wignall gave his parents something to cheer about, scoring on a deflection to put the Stags in front 2-0. The icing on the cake came in the 74th minute, when Don-Junior Bobe ’21 sneaked a shot inside the near post, all but ending Rider’s hopes of making a comeback.
Fairfield’s defense helped ease the pressure on the offense all night. Rider was never able to get the ball into Fairfield’s zone as they only had three shots on goal the whole night. Head coach Carl Rees emphasized how his team played a complete game but stressed how there are still things to improve on. “We have to stay humble. We have to keep improving. This season has been about development,” said Rees. “I think tonight was probably our best performance all year, which is a good sign.”
With the win, the Stags finish the season as the MAAC regular season champions. Fairfield will host the No. 5 Quinnipiac University on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The Stags defeated the Bobcats 1-0 in their only matchup of the season on Sept. 27 in Hamden, Conn. and look for the same result come this Thursday, Nov. 9 at Lessing Field.