On the field he is confident and fearless. An athletic soccer player gliding up and down the pitch, expertly completing passes to his teammates.The game comes easy to him, as if he was born to play under the lights of Lessing Field. However, it was not always easy for Hartlepool, England native, Ben Wignall ‘18.
“It was pretty difficult,” said Wignall when asked about the transition to life in the United States when he moved from England in 2014. “The good thing was there were a lot of other British kids on the team, which helped me settle in.”
As a freshman, Wignall lead the Stags in goals scored with four in his rookie campaign while being named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team. His sophomore season was even better as the striker netted five goals to go along with three assists. He credited his knack for scoring goals to the attacking mentality he developed in England.
“Everywhere I have played I have scored goals. I guess it is just instinct to me. Some people are quick, some people are strong. I am neither of them; I just score goals,” Wignall said.
In the current season, Wignall is once again leading the charge for the Stags as he has already tallied five goals at the midfield position in the team’s 5-7-2 start. Having only three games left in the regular season before the MAAC tournament begins, No. 22 is looking for his team to round into postseason form quickly.
“This is the best team I have played on at Fairfield in terms of the football we are playing,” Wignall said. “This is the most attacking team I have played on, but we have not really had any luck yet. We have had some tough games, but we are playing really hard and we are hoping that everything will fall into place and we can go on a run.”
It would not be surprising to see the Stags reel off numerous wins in a row as the chemistry on this team is palpable when watching a game. As such a tight knit unit, Wignall and the squad enjoy every moment that they have on the pitch playing with one another.
“The international factor is big for me. Being away from home, we really have to depend on one another,” the midfielder said. “The Americans really embrace us. During Thanksgiving, they take us into their homes, so we’re not just a team; we really do depend on each other. There is no jealousy or splits between the nationalities.”
When Wignall is not excelling on the pitch, he likes to revert to one of his favorite hobbies: rapping.
“Where I am from in England, it is called MC,” he said. “I am a big Jay Z fan and I am the only one who listens to Jay Z in my town. It takes my mind off of things and I just like to have fun with it.”
It seems as though Wignall manages to find success whether he is on or off the pitch.