The Fairfield University women’s soccer team continued their season as they traveled to Jersey City, N.J. and Buffalo, N.Y. to take on Saint Peter’s University and Canisius College, respectively.
The Stags started things off in the Garden State with a match against Saint Peter’s on Wednesday, Oct. 12, with the team securing a 2-1 victory over the Peacocks. A strong defensive effort was a key factor in the win, with Katie Wright ‘26 making six saves while only letting in one goal. The defensive unit played a physical, up-tempo game which was led by captain Olivia Homan ‘23, Kayla Leary ‘23 and Sydney Corbett ‘24 who all displayed strong work ethic and perseverance in the big victory.
Both of the team’s offenses, however, were quiet for the first 59 minutes of play. The proceeding 21 minutes that followed was a thrilling back-and-forth contest as both teams were fighting for control of the game. First-year Maddy Theriault managed to sneak one past Saint Peter’s goaltender Olivia Mackethan off of a pass from Reagan Klarmann ‘25 to make it a 1-0 game for the Stags.
The score would remain the same for 20 more minutes, as Peacocks defender Brooke Boutchie would tie the game at the seventy-ninth minute mark, putting a shot past Wright off of an assist from Peacocks midfielder Alyssa Hackett.
The Stags would respond to the late Saint Peter’s goal at the right time, as forward Elle Scott ‘24 would stun the Peacocks by tapping in a pass to the back post from Theriault to give the Stags their eleventh win of the season, as well as their 300th in program history.
Head Coach David Barrett explained that the thrill of the last-minute victory couldn’t have been more exciting for the team.
“Obviously the team was very excited,” Head Coach David Barrett said in the game’s official recap. “It was a well-executed goal. Reagan [Klarmann] made a great run as a decoy which left Elle [Scott] open at the back post to tap it in. They kept their concentration even though the clock was running down. We played until the end and that has always been the hallmark for us.”
Other keys to the exhilarating victory were possession and discipline. The Stags outshot the Peacocks, 17-10, with a 9-4 shot advantage in the second half. Also, the Peacocks ended up with eight fouls in comparison to the Stags’ seven, with Saint Peters committing five in the second half whereas Fairfield committed three.
After the exciting win at Saint Peter’s, the team headed up north to Buffalo, N.Y., for another Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference showdown against Canisius College on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Stags were hoping to leave the Nickel City the same way as they did in Jersey City, and they did so with a 2-1 win over the Griffins.
Wright once again proved to be a factor in the match, stopping seven shots while only allowing one goal. The defense also put in a solid effort in helping out their goalie, only allowing the Canisius offense to shoot twice the entire first half.
The offense, unlike the Saint Peter’s contest, would come alive early. Graduate Student Maddy Mills helped the Stags come out of the gate quickly by scoring at the two-minute mark by launching a long free kick from thirty-five yards out, giving the squad a 1-0 lead on her fifth goal of the season. Furthermore, her goal was the first surrendered by Canisius after going 530 consecutive minutes without allowing one.
Fairfield would score one more time before halftime, with forward Angela Filosa ‘24 finding the back of the net at the forty-one-minute mark to give the Stags a 2-0 lead. Filosa scored off a corner kick to the back post from Mills to give the San Ramon, Calif. native her first goal of the season.
The Stags did not score again in the second half, as Canisius fought with high levels of resilience by shooting the ball ten times in the half. The Golden Griffs did end up on the scoresheet once, with Sophia Konstantinou putting one past Wright at the seventieth-minute mark to cut the Stags’ lead in half. The Stags were able to hang on to the win despite the Golden Griff’s strong play in the second half. The win improved their conference record to an overall record of 12-3, with a 7-1 MAAC record to go along with it.
Although the game was presented with numerous challenges, including poor weather, a long period on the road and facing a Canisius squad that allowed the fewest goals per game in the conference, coach Barrett was impressed with his teams’ performance.
“It was a very tough game today,” Head Coach David Barrett said in the game’s official recap. “The conditions were challenging with strong wind and rain that really impacted the play but we found a way. After a long week of three road games at tough venues, we are happy to be coming back with three more points.”
The Stags will return home this Saturday as they host Niagara University at Lessing Field at 12 p.m. For more news, information and updates on the women’s soccer team and Fairfield athletics as a whole, see fairfieldstags.com.