What are your thoughts on Coach O’Brien breaking the program record for number of wins as a coach?

Kowalski: I’m very excited for Coach O’Brien to take over the head coaching wins record. I think he is extremely deserving of such an honor. He puts in so much effort into the success of our team and works really hard every day to make sure that we get better as a team and that clearly shows through his overall record.

Small: There is no one more deserving than Coach O’Brien. His love for the team is evident every day. He inspires each of us to be the best players that we can possibly be every time that we step onto the field. If it weren’t for Jim, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our childhood goal of playing soccer at the collegiate level here at Fairfield. This helps us to appreciate him, along with every moment that we have together as a team. I am just extremely grateful to have witnessed him make history in the Fairfield women’s soccer program and to have taken part in his success.

 

If you couldn’t play soccer at Fairfield, what sport would you play and why?

Kowalski: Probably tennis. I used to play when I was younger and I still follow and enjoy watching the sport.

Small: Basketball. It was always one of my favorite sports. There came a time in high school when I could no longer play both basketball and soccer because of conflicting schedules and the level of commitment required for both sports. So, I had to choose which one I wanted to continue playing.

 

What will you miss most after your senior season?

Kowalski: My teammates and coaches. We have become a big family and it is going to be so different not spending time with each of them every day.

Small: I will miss not being part of a team the most. I look at my teammates and the coaching staff as my second family. I spend the majority of my time with these people and look up to every single one of them. The thought of not practicing with them every day brings a weird feeling.

 

When did you first start playing/gain an interest in soccer?

Kowalski: I first started playing soccer when I was 5 years old. My dad used to play soccer and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.

Small: I first started playing soccer when I was 3. It is a sport that my parents have a big interest in. So, it was important to them that each of their children played. Their love for the game was infectious and I ultimately grew to love it as well.

 

Do you have a favorite professional soccer player/team? Why?

Kowalski: My favorite team is Chelsea F.C. I’ve always been a fan ever since I was little. My brothers are Arsenal fans and my dad is a Manchester United fan, so we have a bit of a rivalry at home when the Premier League is on.

Small: I have always looked up to Mia Hamm. Although she is retired now, her accomplishments during her career were admirable.

 

How do you think the team will fare this season?

Kowalski: We’ve had a great start to the season. We always try to capitalize and be successful in our out-of-conference games in order to start the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on the right track. Everyone has been working hard and the depth of our team really helps with our success, so hopefully we continue on the path that we are on so far.

Small: There is no doubt in my mind that we will have an outstanding season. We have gotten off to a great start so far and I believe that if we continue to work hard, we will be unstoppable.

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