On September 16, the Fairfield University Women’s Field Hockey team played Lehigh University at home on University Field, seeking to extend their winning streak to six games.
The Stags started scoring just four minutes into the first half when Emma Matlach ‘21 made a shot. From a penalty corner, Danielle Profita ‘21 passed the ball across the top of the circle where Matlach pushed the ball into the left of the net past Lehigh’s goalkeeper. This was Matlach’s fifth goal of the season.
The early goal gave Fairfield the confidence to keep shooting. The Stags’ second goal of the game came within the opening 10 minutes. Cassie Hughes ’19 took the ball down the center through Lehigh’s defense and passed it to Kaley McMullen ‘19, who tapped it in to the net, bringing the score to 2-0.
To close the first half, the Stags put another goal away as Matlach took the ball downfield on a breakaway, then passed to Profita who scored the third goal from the top of the circle. For the season, Profita has now scored four goals.
The second half played out similarly to the first. The Stags were relentless and controlled the play, outscoring Lehigh. Four minutes into the second half, McMullen assisted Profita who beat the goalkeeper to earn her second goal of the game and her fifth of the season. Fairfield now led 4-0.
Six minutes into the second half, the Stags scored their fifth and final goal of the game. The Stags were awarded a penalty corner in which Profita sent to Sam Giordano ’19 who pushed the ball into the back of the net from the top of the circle. This was Giordano’s third goal of the season.
Senior captain Giordano was delighted to score, but was more in awe of the strong display of teamwork. After the game, she said, “I could not ask for anything more – the team is putting in 120 percent. Our 8-1 record is evidence of the hard work of all 22 players.”
The Stags benefited from a strong defense led by goalkeeper Caitlin Gilligan ’19 and defender Luzi Persiehl ’22. Gilligan recorded two saves on the day and the defense allowed only seven shots. Head coach Jackie Kane described the 8-1 start to the season as “unbelievable.” She said, “The credit goes to the players who put in the work over the summer, the amazing leadership from the senior class and the way they treat every game like a championship.”
Moving forward in the season, the goals for Fairfield are set high: defending and winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship, moving forward in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament and, overall, being a force to be reckoned with.
The win over Lehigh was a monumental one for the Stags as they tied the program record for six consecutives wins. For the season, Fairfield owns an 8-1 record. The Stags will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 28 at 12 p.m. as they open up MAAC play against Sacred Heart University.