1. Legends of the Fall: Men’s and Women’s Soccer win MAAC Championships

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams made major strides in their programs last season. Both teams won the MAAC Championship and narrowly lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The men’s team upset undefeated and nationally ranked Loyola in the MAAC Championship game. The Stags headed up to Storrs to face UConn, who knocked Fairfield out of the tournament with a 1-0 loss. Head coach Carl Rees has continued to mine talent from both home and abroad to put together a competitive team, and next season’s roster already boasts several impressive underclassmen.
The women’s team also defeated Loyola in the MAAC Championship game on the strength of senior Ahna Johnson, one of the program’s most renowned players, and her hat trick. The women faced No. 16 Oklahoma State in the first round and also dropped a 1-0 decision.
The women will lose a solid senior class headlined by Johnson, but return a promising roster for head coach Jim O’Brien, who was honored by the NSCAA as the Northeast Region Coach of the Year.’ – Chris Simmons

2. Han leaves team in January

One of the most memorable moments of an exciting basketball season came following a disheartening loss to the Manhattan Jaspers at Draddy Gym in Riverdale, N.Y. Assistant coach Brian Blaney and senior captain Jon Han screamed at each other in the hallway outside the locker room, while reporters, fans and teammates looked on.
The end result was Han’s decision to leave the Stags, while staying at Fairfield to graduate. It was a disappointing moment for both the Stags as a team and for Han. In his three years at Fairfield, Han had established himself as an emotional leader on the court, albeit with a hot temper, while putting his name all over the Fairfield record books. But with less then half of his senior season left, the point guard decided to end his career, casting a dark shadow over his resume.
Han finished his Fairfield career with 1,072 points and 526 assists in 110 games. Han’s assist total is the third-highest in program history.’ – Tom Cleary

3. Stunning season for women’s lacrosse ends with MAAC Championship

The women’s lacrosse team entered the 2009 season with a well-defined goal: MAAC Championship or bust. And on April 26, nearly one year to the day that the Stags fell to Marist in the MAAC Championship game, the Stags achieved their goal in impressive fashion, downing the Red Foxes, 19-9. The win marks the team’s first conference championship since 2001.
Despite last weekend’s successes, head coach Mike Waldvogel and the Stags still find themselves one step away from the culmination of any dream season. In order to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, Fairfield will play Sacred Heart in a play-in game this Saturday at Lessing Field. To the winner goes a berth in the Big Dance.
If Fairfield’s recent showings are any indication, this season may just be getting started. – Keith Connors

4. ‘Our Time’ becomes a hard time

With a strong start and one of the most athletically-gifted teams in recent years, it appeared that the Stags men’s basketball team could be en route to a MAAC championship, its first since 1997.
But injuries to sophomore Warren Edney, junior Anthony Johnson, junior Greg Nero, senior Herbie Allen, as well as the departure of senior Jon Han, changed all that. Instead the Stags had to play with a much younger and more inexperienced lineup.
But not all was bad, as the Stags finished over .500 with a 17-15 record, advancing into the MAAC semifinals before falling to the champions, Siena.’ – Tom Cleary

5. Almost (again) for volleyball … again

For the past four seasons, the season was run like clockwork for volleyball: gain experience in out-of-conference games, dominate the MAAC and struggle in the postseason.
Unfortunately, first-year head coach Alija Pittenger and the Stags fell victim to the same script again in 2009. Following a 20-13 season that included 16 conference victories, two of which came against MAAC rival Siena, the Saints upset the Stags in Albany in the MAAC Championship game in Albany in impressive fashion, 3-0.
Despite the losses, Fairfield still boasts a fine chance of bucking the trend a year from now: junior Katie Mann returns with a talented group of underclassmen.’ – Keith Connors

6. Copelan ushers in new era

A year after the men’s lacrosse season was marred by a 4-9 record and a head coaching change, head coach Andy Copelan and the Stags turned the page and showed flashes of brilliance. The season was highlighted by a thrilling win in the home opener against Delaware, a 5-4 overtime win in Happy Valley against Penn State and a winning record for the first time since 2005. With a talented core returning, including impressive freshman goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano, the sky is the limit.’ – Keith Connors

7. A’ smashing season for tennis

The women’s tennis team avenged a regular season loss to Niagara to win the MAAC Championship to automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Stags draw USC in the tournament’s first round. Junior Paulina Rys was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as she went 3-0 in doubles and 2-0 in singles play.
The top-seeded men’s team fell in the finals of the MAAC Championships to second-seeded Marist, 5-2. This marks the second straight year that Marist beat Fairfield in the finals.’ – Chris Simmons

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Han gone for good

Women’s tennis goes dancing after stunning MAAC Championship win

Smashing Success

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