As the Fairfield women’s soccer team wrapped up a week that included a 0-0 tie with Iona College on Friday and a 3-0 victory against Hartford University on Sunday, head coach Jim O’Brian asserted that the team will continue in a “building block process.”

Friday’s match was the season’s first official Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) competition, and the first step towards upholding last year’s first place title.

The Iona Gaels’ may have enjoyed home turf advantage, but the Stags managed to control the ball for the majority of the game. Still, neither team managed to put the ball in the back of the net through regulation and overtime play.

Coming into the non-conference game against Hartford a few days later, O’Brian feared a fall in the level of intensity and excitement from his players.

“We came out a little flat, but made some adjustments at halftime and stepped it up,” he said.

O’Brian immediately mentioned Brett Maron ’08, a third year team member and the starting goalie, as a key contributor to the game.

“She’s so solid and focused,” O’Brien said. “When she’s playing well, we’re all confident.” Maron boasted her second shutout in a row, featuring a number of fantastic saves throughout the game.

O’Brian also praised senior Betsy Nyman for her work in the midfield and Alex Caram, ’08 and Chrissy Sidie ’10 for their contributions this weekend.

“We have very good subs this year, who just bring something extra when they come out onto the field,” said O’Brien.

On offense, the girls took home three of twelve shots on goal, scored by Caram, Casey Frobey ’10, and Emma Howes ’10. Howes said that she was very excited to score her first goal as a Stag, and that Caram fed her a great ball.

Howes added thoughts about being a rookie on the team, “I spent some time in the summer here. They’re just a great bunch of girls.”

O’Brian felt good about his newcomers, saying that there are always some ups and downs while the freshmen get adjusted to college, but things are starting to even out.

“We’re not quite clicking yet,” he said. “But these things take time, and will improve as the team works together.”

After the game, Maron said this game was a great first win at home, with three excellent goals. Of the season, she said, “We started off rocky, but now we’ve picked things up and are moving forward positively.”

Howes felt similarly, saying, “We’ll do well. We’re getting better every game.”

The Stags will continue their MAAC match-ups away at Siena and Marist in the next week, as well as non-conference against Yale and Holy Cross the week after.

Calling for Fairfield students to come out to their games, Maron said, “We appreciate the support.”

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