The Fairfield women’s basketball team played well after a rocky start to the season, rebounding to finish 16-13 overall with an 11-9 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. A number of the girls played particularly well, garnering seasonal awards from the MAAC.
One of these players was forward Kelsey Carey ‘17, who was named to the All-MAAC Third Team this past week. Carey led the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game. She shot 48 percent from the field and made a team-high 60 free throws on the season, while also averaging 4.1 rebounds per game.
“It’s awesome,” Carey said about her All-MAAC Third Team bid. “Coming off of not really playing much my freshman year, and not playing too many minutes my sophomore year, I guess it’s a pretty big accomplishment for me. I just think that as a team, we work really hard, and it’s just nice to get recognized.”
Carey’s transformation to becoming a staple on the team has to do with the realization that the end of the road is not too far away, she says. Nearing the end of her junior campaign, there will only be one more chance to capture that elusive MAAC Championship.
“My junior season’s coming to an end, and my senior year’s coming up, so I just have to play like tomorrow’s not guaranteed,” said Carey. “You just have to go out and give it all you have every time you lace up your sneakers.”
Carey’s numbers compared to last season have definitely shown a change in mentality, as her scoring improved by four points, and she received an average of five more minutes per game. This was epitomized by the entire team during an eight-game win streak this season that spanned from Jan. 24 to Feb. 17.
“It was great to go out and prove people wrong after they already wrote us off since the beginning of the season, so I think the streak was really awesome and gave us really good momentum even though we lost our last three [games,]” said Carey. “We don’t forget how we played, and we hope we can recreate how we played.”
Now, as the No. 4 seed going into the MAAC Tournament, the Stags are eager to leave with a National Collegiate Athletic Conference berth, especially after being named the MAAC preseason No. 1 team.
“I think we all said in the beginning of the year that our one goal was to win the championship,” said Carey. “I think it would mean the world to all of us — coaches, from freshmen to seniors — to get a ring.”
Carey has just one lasting message that she would like to leave her team with before they depart to Albany for tournament play.
“I would just tell us to keep working hard, and to picture how good it will feel to win that championship game, and to beat Marist, Quinnipiac, Iona and all those teams that have given us problems in the past.”
The Stags will play their first game of the 2016 MAAC Tournament on Saturday, March 5, against No. 5 ranked Monmouth at 2:30 p.m.