The Fairfield University Women’s Soccer Team has won a share of the MAAC Regular Season Title, and they did it with style.
With a 5-0 win over Manhattan on Sunday, the Stags (11-5-2, 8-1-0 in conference) won their first regular season title since 2002, a title they are sharing with Marist.
Senior Lauren Reilly scored her first career hat trick in the 5-0 win, with the other two tallies coming from Shannon Fay ’14 and Erin Pettersen ’15.
In the match, Fairfield played three goalkeepers, who combined to earn the team’s 10th shutout of the season. Sophomore Kathleen Early started in net and was not forced to make a save. Redshirt Freshman Veronica Saez started in the second half and made three saves before being replaced by Sophia DeVita ’16, who finished off the game.
The Stags also pulled out a thrilling win on senior night on Friday night against Saint Peter’s.
Junior Stephanie Sutherby scored the game winner for the Stags eight minutes into overtime. The Stags had outshot the Peacocks 33-3 in the contest and held the statistical advantage throughout the game.
Also, on Thursday, the MAAC announced their post-season awards, in which the Stags were honored with 18 awards.
Senior Allison Walsh was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, after captaining the defense that had a shutout percentage of 55.6, which was 19th best in the nation. The defense allowed just 15 goals, making a .80 goals-against average.
Walsh is the second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year for the Stags and only the third ever.
Coach Jim O’Brien was also honored by the MAAC as Coach of the Year, the first time he was honored with the award.
O’Brien led the Stags to their seventh MAAC regular season title.
Three Stags were also named to the First Team All-MAAC. They were Reilly, Walsh, and redshirt junior Nikki Stanton.
Sophomore Megan O’Brien and Pettersen were named to the All-MAAC Second Team.
Freshman Emily Wieczorek was also honored as a member of the All-MAAC Rookie Team.
The Stags head to the MAAC Tournament as the second-seed and will play their first game against third-seeded Loyola on Friday at 5:00 p.m. With a win, they will go on to play with Marist or Iona in the finals at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday to see who will make the NCAA Tournament.
The Stags split their games on a weekend long trip to play Canisius and Niagara. On Friday night, the Stags fell short to Niagara in overtime.
Three minutes into the overtime period, Niagara’s Bryan Da Cruz scored the game-winning goal. The goal and the loss knocked the Stags out of postseason contention.
However, the Stags won their second game of the weekend against Canisius, 2-1.
Canisius struck early, but the Stags erased the deficit in the second half. Senior Nuno Rodrigues tied the game at one in the 66th minute with a shot from inside the penalty area.
In the 82nd minute, Jordan Ayris ’15 scored the game-winner from 12 yards out.
Senior goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe made nine saves in the win and kept the Stags in the game against Niagara as well.
The game turned out to be the Stags’ last MAAC game of the season, as their final two games against Siena and Marist were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.
Cross Country traveled to the MAAC Championship in ESPN Wide World of Sports in Disney on Saturday.
Both the men and the women finished in fifth overall and fell to the first place team, Iona.
In the men’s race, Connor Kelley ’15 was the first Stag across the line in 13th place and with an 8k time of 25:52.47. Junior Howie Rosas was the second Stag to finish in 15th place overall. This was the first time that two Stags have finished in the top 15 of the MAAC Championship.
The next across the line for the men was John Lobo ’14 followed by Brian Cleary ’14. Senior Kyle Short and Jake Ruskan ‘15 rounded the top seven out for the Stags.
On the women’s side, Maureen Crimmins ’15 was the first Stag in a decade to earn All-MAAC honors from the MAAC Championship.
Crimmins had a personal best 6k time of 22:28.92, which put her across the line in 13th place overall.
The top seven on the women’s side all finished with personal best times, which propelled the Stags to a fifth place finish, which is one spot up from last season.
Following Crimmins, Sam Goodnow ’13 was the next Stag across the line with a time of 22:59.21. Cate Forte ‘15, Margaret MacKenzie ‘15 and Danielle Renzi ‘15 followed her.
Junior Hillary Maxson and Kelsey Murphy ‘15 finished out the top seven.
Twelve Stags were honored on the MAAC All-Academic Team, to add to the honors. On the women’s side, it was Juli Bassett ’14, Danica Ceballos ’14, Kerry Hamilton ’13, Maxson, Renzi and Meghan Sullivan ’13.
On the men’s side, All-Academic honors were awarded to Matt Boley ’13, Greg Chase ’13, Cleary, Kelley, Ruskan and Short.
The Stags will next co-host the NCAA Regionals at Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT.