Although it had been two full years since goalkeeper Juliette Grasso ‘24 had played in a competitive soccer match due to injuries, head coach of the Fairfield University women’s soccer David Barrett gave her the start against Monmouth University on Oct. 6, 2021.
Just two weeks after being cleared officially, Grasso was ready to be back on the field to prove why she is a Division I athlete. Although the adrenaline and confidence were flowing, there also was a moment of doubt that came with it.
“I felt a little bit nervous [before the match] and just wanted to make sure I would be able to go out onto the field and prove that I deserved to play,” said Grasso. “Right before stepping onto the field all of my nerves faded and I just kept reminding myself that I’ve been a soccer player my whole life and this game is no different from any other.”
While it is true that she has been a soccer player her whole life, the match against Monmouth for Juliette Grasso was far from any ordinary game.
In her first collegiate start, Grasso tied a record of saves for Fairfield University at 14 saves in a single game.
Her most impressive sequence of the match was by far her double save in the seventy-seventh minute of play, where she used her hands and then her feet to save two quick shots in a row to keep the Stags level through the regular period.
In overtime, that is where Juliette tied the record for saves, but was unluckily scored on by an opponent deflection in the dying embers of the match, which was ultimately the game winner. Even though she did everything in her power to keep the Stags in the game, the Stag’s offense was simply not enough.
Grasso learned of the record she just tied after the game, however she was more concerned with the result of the match rather than the individual achievement.
“Honestly, I had no clue what the record was prior to the game,” explained Grasso. “I wasn’t even sure how many saves I had made during the game. When playing, the only thing I was focused on was the game.”
The record hasn’t been challenged since 2010, and Grasso had no clue that she was one save from beating. Clearly, she is a player who means business on the pitch and is looking to solidify herself in the starting lineup for many years to come.
With the Stags rolling, everything is looking up for Fairfield and the sophomore goalie. Grasso is definitely not satisfied with her tying the record, she wants more.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work hard in practice and hopefully in games,” said the New York native. “It’s really exciting being a part of a team who’s able to work so hard and chase after the MAAC championship. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of our season plays out and hopefully winning the MAAC.”
A MAAC Championship is something in the eyes of the women’s team, currently third in the conference with an overall record of 8-4-3. Their next match will be versus Saint Peter’s University, where they face the Peacocks on Oct. 20, 2021.
The match will be played at Lessing field and be streamed on ESPN. Make sure to show your support for your fellow Fairfield athletes. Go Stags!