Soccer is a cruel sport. A team can be controlling the game for almost all of the 90 minutes, and then in one second see the game slip away.
This is exactly what Fairfield’s women’s soccer team experienced as they lost to Stony Brook by a score of 2-1 this past Sunday.
The Stags (2-2-2) entered the game with a four game unbeaten streak, and right from the first whistle, they seemed destined to increase that number to five games.
A mere minute into the game, senior forward Jasmin Corniel saw her shot go just wide of the right post. In the 20th minute, Sophomore Carly Beyar found herself with open space at the top of the box, only to have her shot go wide right as well.
Finally, in the 25th minute, the ball found the back of the net. Sophomore Stephanie Sutherby found herself in possession of the ball on the right flank, while her teammate Lauren Reilly was streaking into the box from the left.
According to Sutherby: “She indicated that she wanted the ball played to her head, so I put the ball right there.”
And what a perfect pass it was. Reilly made contact with the ball on a diving header that sent the ball shooting into the right corner of the net.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last too long for the Stags. In the 31st minute, Stony Brook’s Caitlin Pfeiffer aimed to send a cross from the left sideline into Fairfield’s penalty area. Just inside the area, the ball struck Fairfield’s Allison Walsh in the arm. Stony Brook was awarded a penalty kick, which Sa’sha Kershaw placed calmly into the lower left corner.
Going into halftime, Fairfield still seemed they were more likely to score game-winning goal. However only nine minutes into the second half, the game-winning goal was put in by Stony Brook. There was utter chaos in the Stag’s penalty area, but Stony Brook’s Rachel Silverman eventually diverted the ball past Kelly Boudreau and into the net.
While Fairfield increased the pressure for the rest of the game, switching to a more attack minded 3-4-3 formation, the ball just wouldn’t go into the net for the Stags. In spite of the defeat, Coach Jim O’Brien could see some positives to take away from the match.
“I feel the team effort was very, very good. We were statistically dominant; we’re just having a hard time scoring goals. But we just need to stay positive,” O’Brien said.
The stats do show that Fairfield dominated in crucial areas of the game. Fairfield had 14 shots to Stony Brook’s 5, as well as 6 corners to their 1.
Despite the loss, this particular game was not just about winning and losing. The match held special meaning, as young Emily Tredwell was named the honorary captain of the day. Emily’s father, Tim, was an intern in the Southern Connecticut Sports Information office when O’Brien served as head coach of the Owls women’s soccer program.Emily was diagnosed with a rare condition that resulted in her right leg being significantly shorter than her left.
Donations were taken at the door and at halftime to help the Tredwell’s pay for the upcoming ten years of travel to Florida for medical treatment. Coach O’Brien expressed how important this fundraiser was for Emily.
“Tim is an old friend…When we heard about Emily’s illness, we wanted to do whatever we could to help,” O’Brien said.
Sutherby also described how Emily has become closer to the players on the team.
“She’s becoming more comfortable with us. She now knows some of us by name,”she said.
The Stags are now looking to get back on the winning track when they play at the University of Hartford on Wednesday at 7:00, before their first league game against Siena on the 30th.