The Fairfield University soccer teams both had identical schedules this past week, kicking off its conference regular season against new Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference member Mount Saint Mary’s University and in-state opponent Quinnipiac University.
Both teams faced Mount Saint Mary’s on Wednesday, Sept. 28, with the men’s team playing as host while the women’s team traveled to Emmitsburg, Md. The men’s team took the win, 1-0, at Lessing Field. The women’s team also came home victorious, taking the win, 2-1.
Forward Raz Amir ‘24 was the difference-maker in the 1-0 shutout, putting one past Mount Saint Mary’s goalkeeper Ethan Russell during the 49th minute of play. The Stags controlled possession of the game, registering eleven shots including three on goal. Most of these shots came after the 39th minute, before which both teams combined for only three shots on goal.
The Stags controlled their own destiny down the stretch, nearly building on their lead when Amir missed an opportunity at the 79th minute mark to get his name on the scoresheet for the second time.
Despite the slow start, head coach Carl Rees was impressed with how his team played.
“I think we started well and we maintained the application of what we wanted to do after the half and down the stretch,” Coach Rees said in the game’s official recap. “This was a collective effort and we still have so many chipping in and rising to the occasions in situations when we need it most.”
At the Mount Saint Mary’s campus in Emmitsburg, Md., the women’s team proved victorious. The Stags stormed out of the gate quickly, with Elle Scott ‘24 and Caroline Kelly ‘24 scoring at the ten minute and fourteen minute marks, respectively.
They also dominated possession of the game, with the Stags out-shooting Mount Saint Mary’s 31-8, while they also outnumbered the Mountaineers in shots on goal, 14-6.
Hannah Vogt ‘23 and graduate student Maddie Mills also contributed to the win with one assist apiece, and goaltender Katie Wright ‘26 made five saves while only giving one goal at the 83rd minute mark off of a penalty kick.
On Saturday, the men’s team traveled to Hamden, Conn., to take on Quinnipiac University. Despite a hard-fought and back-and-forth battle, the Stags fell short, 3-2.
The showdown began when Quinnipiac found one in the back of the net at the nineteenth-minute mark off of a goal from Domen Bozic. The Stags responded with their own goal at the 33rd-minute mark from a shot by Thomas Drillen ‘24. After returning from halftime tied, Quinnipiac managed to sneak a shot past goaltender James Anderson ‘24 to take the lead.
The Stags once again played resilient soccer as Alex Oliveira ‘23 scored eight minutes later at the 66th-minute mark to tie the match. Unfortunately, Quinnipiac managed to sneak another shot through at the 71st-minute mark, giving them a 3-2 lead they would not again vanquish.
The Stags put up a spirited fight. However, penalties came back to haunt them, as they committed ten against Quinnipiac’s six. These infractions put the Stags at disadvantage at times, and it came back to haunt them as they traveled back to Fairfield without a win.
The women’s team also suffered a heartbreaker at home, falling to Quinnipiac 3-2 at Lessing Field on Saturday. The game was very similar to the one their men counterparts took place in, with a tough, hard battle fought between both teams. The Stags got the party started early with a goal from Maddy Theriault ‘26 two minutes into the game. Quinnipiac then responded by tying the game with their own at the nine-minute mark.
No one would score again as the teams went into the half. The Stags once again came out of the gate hot, with Vogt scoring at the 46th-minute mark. Quinnipiac, less than a minute later, would tie the game once again. Luck wouldn’t find the Stags again in this game, as at the 71st-minute mark, Quinnipiac put one on top to take the lead and they would never look back.
Both teams will look to regroup as they take on Manhattan College on Wednesday, October 5. The women’s team will play host at 7 p.m. at Lessing Field, while the men’s team will travel to The Bronx, N.Y., for a 6 p.m. showdown.