Men’s soccer kicks off MAAC Tourney Not even a challenging schedule could keep the Fairfield men’s soccer team from reaching post-season play, as they head to the MAAC tournament in Orlando, Fla. as the second seeded team. The Stags, who finished the season with a 7-7-2 overall record, including a 6-3 conference record, played a number of nationally-ranked teams during their 2003 campaign, including a tough loss against No. 16 Hartwick College to end the regular season. While the Stags struggled in the beginning of the season, losing their first three home games at Lessing Field, they remain positive about the season, viewing it as a positive learning experience. “We were a little disappointed with some of the outcomes,” said soccer player Andy Uria ’05. “But as a young team we grew a lot and learned from everything.” The Stags, who finished the season second to Loyola College, play the winner of Manhattan vs. Rider in hopes of claiming their first conference title since 1998. “We are going into the tournament knowing that we are the best in the conference,” said Uria. “It’s up to us to go out and prove it.”

Women XC maintain MAAC standing After graduating Erin Heslin, the top female runner in Fairfield history, the women’s cross country team was in dire need of strong front runners to take over the reigns. Juniors Colleen Brasser and Stephanie Stote quickly asserted themselves as leaders, rising in the ranks to become two of the top runners for the Stags this season. “Brasser and Stote stepped up big this year,” said Coach Harrington. “They really helped pave the way for another successful season.” Despite losing Stote to illness before MAAC Championships, the women were able to hold on to last year’s place in the conference, finishing sixth out of the ten team in the MAAC. Captain Lauren Wilson ’05 finished second for the team, her highest place on the team this season. “I ran really hard and was pleased with my perfomance and I look forward to doing the same next race,” said Wilson. The women’s season will come to a close after competing at the NCAA Northeast Regionals at Boston’s Franklin Park on Nov. 15.

Women’s soccer proceeds to tourney Much like the men’s team, the Fairfield women’s soccer squad faced many challenges on its way to the number three seed in the MAAC Tournament. Ending the season with a 9-8-1 overall record, the Stag’s struggled against many out-of-conference foes, including an early season loss to No. 20 Boston College. As the season progressed however, the Stags picked up momentum, finishing with a 6-3 conference record. Coach Maria Piechocki, who spoke with Fairfield’s Sports Information Department earlier this week, is happy with her teams performance and is looking forward to the tournament. “We finished our conference schedule with a three-game winning streak so we feel as though we have some momentum going into this weekend,” said Piechocki. “We got off to a rough start this season, so I’m proud of how our players have regrouped and fought their way into the tournament.” On Friday, the Fairfield women will travel to Lawrenceville, NJ for the MAAC Tournament hoping to upset second-seeded Niagara University, who earlier this season defeated the Stags 2-1 in overtime

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