Sometimes in sports everything can go your way in a game – except the final score. The Fairfield University Women’s Soccer Team experienced this on Friday night.

In the Stags’ semi-final MAAC Tournament game against third-seeded Loyola, the Stags lost a 1-0 decision while statistically dominating the game.

Fairfield out-shot Loyola 16-7, and dominated in corner kicks at a staggering 11-1.

However, in the 72nd minute, the only statistic that counted went Loyola’s way as Kelsey Rene headed home the game-winning goal for Loyola. It was the only goal of the game.

Early into the second half, the Stags almost had the game-winner themselves. Junior Carly Beyar took a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar. The officials ruled that the ball had not crossed the goal line and was therefore not a goal.

Had any of that shots happened to go Fairfield’s way, the game would have ended in their favor and they would have been playing in the MAAC Tournament Final on Sunday.

However, there are still positives to be gained from the season the Stags had. While they did not win the MAAC Tournament, the Stags earned a share of the MAAC regular season crown with Marist College.

“It was an outstanding season. We had an excellent run in conference play, and we won a share of the conference title,” said coach Jim O’Brien.

The Stags had a fantastic conference record of 8-0-1, mirroring that of the men’s soccer team in the 2011 season.

They were helped along the way by fantastic efforts from their rookie goalkeepers, coming off of the loss of Kelly Boudreau ‘12 through graduation. Boudreau was arguably one of the best keepers that Fairfield has ever seen, with her name in several spots of the record books.

However, through excellent play from Kathleen Early ’15, Veronica Saez ’15, and Sophia DeVita ’16, the Stags held tough and posted the best goals against average in the MAAC, at .81.

The Stags were also tied at the top of the league, with Rider, for fewest goals allowed in the conference, with 16. Finally, Fairfield topped the MAAC for most shutouts in the season, at an impressive 10.

While goalkeeping was an important factor in the Stags gaining a share of the MAAC title, senior leadership also helped the Stags get to the top of the conference.

“It was a great group of girls to work with this season. Especially the senior class,” said coach O’Brien.

O’Brien continued, saying: “You are not going to be able to replace the experience of these girls for a while. You’re also not going to be able to replace their personality, maturity, dedication and desire to succeed.”

For the Stags, they will be losing defenders, Elise Hemmer ‘12, Lexi Simon ‘12, and Allison Walsh ‘12. Walsh was recently named MAAC-Defensive Player of the Year, and will be a difficult player to replace ahead of the next season.

The Stags will also be losing midfielder Lauren Reilly ‘12, who score a hat trick on October 28th, to help propel the Stags to a share of the MAAC crown.

Finally, the Stags will graduate Kasey Schulz ‘12 who had two goals and two assists for the team this season.

While statistically the graduating class looks like they will leave big holes in the squad for next season, the hard work and determination of the underclassmen will help fill the spots left by the seniors.

After losing big players ahead of this season, the Stags still managed to get a hold of a share of the trophy. If they keep the same mentality ahead of the 2013 season, they might be able to get the elusive MAAC Tournament Championship.

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