They joined a program that was in the midst of suffering four consecutive losing seasons. A school that went 23-43 over that span. Who would have thought that the class of 2010 would have been the beginning of the turnaround for the Fairfield Women’s lacrosse team? Four years, three head coaches, three regular season championships, 1 MAAC title, 1 NCAA tournament birth, and 54 wins later this senior class has been arguably the most productive in school history. A crew that have combined for three All MAAC teams, 7 All-Academic teams, 259 points and 368 groundballs through their 4 seasons. On an overcast Sunday afternoon the five upperclassmen were honored before their final game ever at Fairfield University. A place where they called home for 34 games going 26-8 during their careers.
Playing in the last regular season game for 2010, the Stags faced MAAC foe Siena at Alumni Stadium. Surprisingly the Saints of Siena College gave the Stags everything they could handle. Siena (7-8; 3-3 MAAC) tried to control the tempo of the game. They dominated the time of possession for the first ten minutes of the first half but still trailed 6-2. Junior all-star Kristen Coleman led the Stags with 3 points including two highlight assists to help Fairfield with the slim first half lead.
However, on senior day it was a freshman who proved to be the most impressive in the first half. Siena attempted 13 shots but only managed a couple of scores as goalie Katie Keenan ended the first 30 minutes of action with 6 saves. The first year player from Wantagh, NY was a vital part in the Stags early lead according to Coach Mike Waldvogel, “She made some good saves it really set the tempo for us.”
The Stags came out struggling in the second half and found their lead shrink to as little as 1 goal with 11:39 left on the clock. Junior attack Caitlin Mikel touched net twice as the Saints trimmed the deficit to 8-7. Kristen Coleman then took over the game. Recording a goal and an assist in the next two Stags scores which gave Fairfield a 10-7 lead. The Saints caught up late in the game making it a 1 goal difference in under a minute, but it proved to be too little too late as the Stags held on to a 10-9 victory.
The Stags now have won 18 straight MAAC games and enter the MAAC Championships as the number one seed. They will face a rematch with the Saints on Friday in the semi-finals to open the tournament. The five members of the class of 2010 know that it is their last chance to make a name for the Fairfield lacrosse team and are ready for the challenge. Senior Erin Rigby enjoyed a “bitter sweet” final home game but wants a win for her head coach, “he’s the best guy I’ve met and he’s the reason I keep playing lacrosse, to play for him and to win for him is all that really matters.”