Nicole Cavallaro ’10 eyed the formation of players gathered in front of the goal, awaiting her play from the corner. With a swift kick, she sent the ball into flight, curving toward a crowd mixed with black and white jerseys.

Alex Caram ’08 leapt up and flicked her head forward, redirecting the ball into the back of the net.

The Fairfield women’s soccer team finally broke through against Providence College, winning 1-0 with Caram’s lone goal providing all the offense the Stags needed.

Fairfield was coming off of three straight losses, all on the road, two of which were against nationally ranked teams.

“The difficult schedule, the road games, are all building to now,” said Head Coach Jim O’Brien. “We want to be exciting, attractive and successful at home for our fans. We want to be undefeated at home.”

The Stags were attacking for most of the first half, out-shooting the Friars 14-4 along with three corner kicks.

However, Fairfield was unable to put a shot on the net or convert several chances and the score remained tied at zero going into halftime.

Finally, at 78:17, Caram headed the ball past Providence’s defense.

Caram nearly had a second goal, but the Friars’ goalie stretched out and made a diving save late in the second half.

Cavallaro assisted Caram’s goal, a freshman assisting a senior.

The Stags have multiple starters from every year, giving the team plenty of depth in each class.

“It helps tremendously, bringing in new styles of play. Eight games into the season, the chemistry has been great,” said team co-captain and senior goalie Brett Maron. “It makes for an exciting team.”

The shutout against Providence was Maron’s third of the season and the 20th in her career, tying her for second all-time at Fairfield, four-and-a-half shutouts from first.

Maron made two saves against the Friars, one game after saving 13 shots against Boston College.

The Stags fell to No. 9 Boston College 2-0. Fairfield was out shot 23-0 and had no corner kicks to the Eagles’ six. Maron’s 13 saves were one shy of the school record of 14, which she tied earlier this season against Colorado.

With only one goal in their past three games, it was a relief to finally attack with the offense and earn a win against Providence.

“Yes [the lack of offense is frustrating], because I feel like we have the ability. But we played BC and UConn, and our priority was on defending, and I thought we were successful at that. Now, we can focus on attacking,” said O’Brien.

The Stags got some game experience pushing the ball and most of the game was played in Providence’s territory.

During the first half, the Stags were spreading the ball around on both sides of the field, but in the second half, Fairfield began to concentrate on the right side of the pitch.

“We do tend to overbalance to one side of the field. Jenna Breitenwischer [’08] is a key part of our attack,” said O’Brien.

The game-winning goal came from that side of the field as well, on a play the Stags have concentrated on in practice.

“We put a high emphasis on restarts. We take a lot of pride in them, and they determine a lot of games,” said O’Brien.

The increased emphasis on attacking also gave some rest for Maron. In her past two games, she faced a total of 44 shots. Against Providence, she faced only four.

“It makes it easier,” said Maron. “I always want the ball as far away from me as possible.”

Losing to BC and then beating Providence has left the Stags’ record at 3-4-1.

Fairfield has fallen out of the top-10 ranked teams in the Northeast region according to the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America).

But with MAAC play beginning shortly and the toughest portion of their schedule done with, the Stags may be able to rebound and improve their record in the second half of the season.

The most important thing, however, is to make the MAAC Tournament.

They then need to reach their peak during the Tournament to secure an NCAA Tournament bid, which would be their second in three years after an absence last year.

The Stags play another home game Thursday night at 7 p.m. against Wagner College. This marks the first time this season the Stags have played two consecutive home games at Lessing Field.

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