A 2-12 overall record. A 0-3 mark in the Northeast Conference. A 10-game losing streak.

The numbers don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the whole story.

Recent Fairfield field hockey game scores, for example, don’t reflect the sweat, tears and numerous practices team members endure before heading out to the field.

“We haven’t been able to finish what we started,” said Chelsea Hicks ’08. “We fight every game to the end and never give up. But it just comes down to who puts the ball in the net.”

In a rebuilding year, a lack of experience may be what keeps the Stags from capitalizing on opportunities that they are given on the field.

“We have a very bottom-heavy team this season,” said Head Coach Jackie Kane. “Two seniors and a few juniors at the top and a lot of sophomores and freshmen who just don’t have the game time experience at the bottom.”

It is Kane’s 11th season as the Stags’ field hockey coach and her 16th with the program, having served as a player from 1982-86. Kane’s most recent coaching accomplishments include a Patriot League regular season title and tournament championship, as well as making it to the NEC Championship in 2004.

As bleak as their record may appear, the Stags are rarely beaten badly. In the last two seasons, they have lost a total of 16 games by two or less goals. They have also recorded five overtime losses. Two came back-to-back this season as Fairfield fell short to conference rival Rider 3-2 on Sept. 29 and then Columbia on Oct. 1 in a 3-2 double-overtime loss.

“We keep making mental adjustments to our team,” said junior Lauren Keith, “and we are hoping everything falls into place sooner rather than later. How we focus and treat our practices before game day, working as a team not as individuals, and playing how we know how to are just a few of the things we’ve improved on through the season.”

“Although this may be a ‘rebuilding’ year, it hasn’t affected the way we’ve played,” said Hicks. “In fact, I think it makes us work harder to know that next year we will come out stronger and more experienced as a team.”

It may not be the numbers carrying Fairfield through its last five games of the season, but the toughness and tenacity the team brings every week will doubtlessly be there.

The Stags play Quinnipiac (6-6, 3-1 NEC) on Oct. 13, defending NEC champs Sacred Heart (11-2, 4-1) on Oct. 15, St. Francis (1-10, 1-2) on Oct. 20, Lock Haven (9-4, 3-0) on Oct. 22, and Robert Morris (2-9, 0-3) on Oct. 29.

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