Fairfield is home to some of the most successful, yet little-known club programs in the Northeast. From equestrian to ice hockey, the teams are succeeding and becoming a staple in Fairfield athletics.

Equestrian: The fall semester proved to be quite successful for Fairfield’s equestrian team, which has placed either first or second at five of the six horse shows this season. The team has earned a first place ranking and an invite to the Tournament of Champions in January, a national horse show consisting of only the top teams and riders in the country. Senior captains Monica Cluff and Sabrina Trager lead a squad of 25 riders, mostly freshmen, against teams like NYU, Columbia, Yale and Stonybrook.

Men’s Ice Hockey: The men’s ice hockey team is in the midst of another outstanding season. The Stags currently hold a 11-1-0 record in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference with a 14-3-0 record overall. Senior captain Jim Pagliaro leads all scorers with 13 goals and 22 assists, followed closely by sophomore Brendan Barucci with 17 goals and 13 assists. The Stags return to the ice Friday, Feb. 5 in a home contest against Briarcliff, played at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport.

Men’s Volleyball: Despite losing players to graduation and study abroad programs, the men’s volleyball team is looking to repeat as the New England Collegiate Volleyball League Division II Champions in the upcoming season. The Stags have finished in the top 25 in the nation for Division II at the national tournament two years in a row. The official season starts in the spring.

Women’s Volleyball: The women’s club volleyball team is currently ranked 16th out of 21 teams in the Northeast Women’s Club Volleyball League. The team will play next on Jan. 27 in a tournament hosted by Northeastern. Other teams attending will include Rutgers, Binghamton, Princeton and UConn. Fairfield will host the NWVCL Championships on March 31 and April 1 with the top 16 teams in the league participating.

Sailing: Fairfield’s sailing team competes in the New England district of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association, which governs over 160 teams in the United States and Canada. The spring schedule will be finalized during January with the season starting in late March. Team standouts include Fenwick Gardiner ’08, Matt Dancho ’08, James Fater ’09 and Jon Ollwerther ’10.

Men’s Rugby: Although falling short of a playoff berth, the men’s rugby team placed fourth in the Metropolitan North Conference with a 4-4 record. The team was led by captains Brett D’Andrea ’07 and Joe Christino ’08. Although rugby is a fall sport they will resume off season play in late March against Fordham University and Boston College.

Men’s Crew: Men’s crew has high expectations for the spring season after placing third in the MAAC last year behind Marist and Loyola. The crew team’s strongest boats are the Varsity Heavyweight Eight and the Varsity Lightweight Four. Another notable boat is the Novice Eight, which captured a gold medal at the Dowling Alumni Cup on Nov. 4. They are currently practicing but do not start up competition until late spring.

Men’s and Women’s Track: Fairfield’s new track teams are not in a league yet, but are affiliated with the United States of America Track and Field Association. Senior Dan Ryan and Senior Liz Casey brought back the Fairfield track team in order for the varsity Cross Country team to stay fit during the off season. They also wanted to bring it back to generate interest in their sport. Coach Michael Owen is in his first year as the track coach, but has spent the past two years as the head of the Cross Country program.

Ski and Snowboarding: The Ski and Snowboarding team are off to a great start for the second season in a row. The team competes against seven other teams, roughly 150 racers in all. They race in the New Jersey Conference of the USCSA versus teams such as, Princeton, Colombia and Lehigh. Last weekend the women came in first both Saturday and Sunday with a first place finish by Caity Barber ’10 on Saturday and a second place finish on Sunday. The men followed suite coming in second both days in a row led by Tim McCabe ’09.

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