The Fairfield University women’s soccer team transitioned from the non-conference portion of their regular season to the conference sector, ending the non-conference segment with a bout against crosstown rival Sacred Heart University and kicking off the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) schedule with a tilt against second-year member Mount St. Mary’s University.
The crosstown matchup took place last Wednesday, Sept. 13 on the Sacred Heart campus. The Stags seized control of the contest early, shooting the ball seven times in the first 11 minutes of play. They finally snuck one through at the 18 minute mark, as defender Meghan Carragher ‘26 executed a successful corner kick, finding the back of sophomore midfielder Sam Kersey’s head to put the Stags on top.
The scoreboard remained unchanged for the remainder of the half, as the Stags came out with fire and urgency to begin the second half. Kersey led the charge, finding the back of the net once more at the 46-minute mark to give the Stags a 2-0 advantage. In response to Kersey’s second tally of the game, Sacred Heart obtained some degree of resiliency, as they responded with back-to-back goals of their own ten minutes later at the 56 and 59 minute marks to even up the score.
The back-and-forth onslaught continued, as the Stags responded quickly with a goal of their own thanks to the efforts of forward Maddy Theriault ‘26, who netted her fourth goal of the season off a helper from her classmate, Carragher, who earned her team-leading five assist of the term to put the Stags back in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 lead.
Despite momentum moving in the Stags favor, Sacred Heart found an avenue to tie the game with a goal of their own at the 80-minute mark. Fairfield nearly wrestled control of the game from the Pioneers as midfielder Reagan Klarmann ‘25 nearly put one through but was blocked thanks to an amazing effort by the Sacred Heart goaltender. As a result, the Stags drew for the second consecutive contest and saw their record move to 2-3-3.
The Stags kicked off MAAC play at Lessing Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, playing host to second-year conference member Mount St. Mary’s University. The conference home opener coincided with senior day, as the Stags honored their six seniors: forwards Angela Filosa ‘24, Elle Scott ‘24, midfielders Caroline Kelly ‘24, Maddie Kiely ‘24, Allie Kirby ‘24, defender Sydney Corbett ‘24 and graduate student midfielder Cailin Panacek in a ceremony recognizing their contributions to the program over the past few years.
The Stags honored their senior class the right way, blanking the Mountaineers in 3-0 shutout. Scott checked her name on the scorecard early, registering her first goal of the season three minutes into the contest to put the Stags on top with some help from Thierault. They did not concede their role in the driver’s chair for the rest of the tilt, as Thierault added two more in the back of the net at the 36 and 57-minute marks, respectively, to put the Stags in a very comfortable position, collecting her sixth and seventh of the season. Ironically, both of her goals were assisted by seniors, with Filosa helping the sophomore out at the 36-minute mark and Scott providing assurance at the 57-minute mark. Additionally, goaltender Katie Wright ‘26 recorded her third shutout of the season and her seventh of her career without needing to make a save.
With the win, the Stags improved to a 3-3-3 record. A key component of the Stag’s victory was their possession of the ball. The Stags outshot the Mountaineers by a wide margin, 32-7, including a 20-0 deficit in the first half.
Fairfield Head Coach David Barrett expressed relief in the victory.
“I’m pleased to get the three points,” Barrett explains, according to the game’s official press release. “First win in the league. We said this is the start of the next chapter of our season so we certainly got off to a good start. First half was really good, the second half was pretty good. We’re still looking to put together a full 90 minutes of consistency and high level but certainly feel good about this performance today and being 1-0 in the league.”
The Stag’s next showdown will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23 against Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. For more information on the Fairfield University women’s soccer team and Fairfield athletics as a whole, please visit www.fairfieldstags.com for more updates.