As the Fairfield University women’s soccer team embarks upon another MAAC season, they hope to improve their form from an 0-7-2 start which included three exhausting overtime games. Today, they face their first conference opponent of the season, Iona. Maria Piechocki, entering her fourth year as head coach, feels the team is much better than its record would indicate. “For the most part, we’ve been playing against high-caliber teams so far this season, and we’ve been losing games by close scores, like 2-1 or 4-3. We’re not discouraged at all at this point; our conference games are the most important for us.” Piechocki, who last year guided the team to a record of 14-5-3 and a birth in the NCAA tournament, added that she is impressed with the incoming freshmen. “Overall, they’re very good, and a lot of our freshmen have been getting significant playing time. However, we’ve had some injuries this season, and there’s always a question of experience when you play a 17-year-old against a 22-year-old, but I’m pleased with their play so far.” Concerning today’s game against Iona, Piechocki said, “Playing away against Iona is always a challenge. We’ll be looking for some individuals on the team to step up and improve our performance.” Last Friday, the Lady Stags began a two game road trip in California which included matches against Fresno State and Pacific. They dropped their first game to Fresno State 3-0, but Fairfield’s goalkeeper, Dana Comuniello, was impressive, making 10 saves. On the seventeenth, they faced the University of the Pacific and lost a close game 2-1. Gina Pantuosco, Fairfield’s leading scorer, opened the scoring early in the second half with her fourth goal of the season, thumping a shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Ten minutes later, however, Pacific equalized via a Gabby Olivares goal. Angela Allgaier scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute to hand Fairfield their fifth straight loss. Despite the loss, the Fairfield goalkeeper again played well. This time it was Anne Lyons in net, who had 11 saves between the sticks. The Lady Stags are looking to put the past behind them with a winning record in conference play. Before the start of the season, they were voted co-favorite to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference along with Loyola. The Lady Stags will meet the Greyhounds on October 7 in Baltimore, a game which will probably be very instrumental in deciding who will win the MAAC crown this season. Of this fixture, Piechocki remarked that “There is always a pre-determined rivalry that we have with Loyola. Year in and year out, it is always a marquis game for the conference and for the teams, and every year, each team rises to the occasion.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.