November is wrapping up, and the fall sports season is just about over. Fairfield University athletics found a ton of success at the kickoff of this new season, which will allow for the momentum to continue through the winter and eventually into the spring season. In the spirit of the fall season wrapping up, however, it would only make sense to look back and see what our Stags have accomplished over the last three months.
Men’s Cross Country:
Unfortunately, the men’s cross country team could not find what they were looking for this season, as the team finished in ninth out of 11 participating teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and placed last in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Northeast Regional Championship. Next year, they have the opportunity to turn this season’s results around and make a push in the MAAC.
Women’s Cross Country:
Also finding some trouble along the way was the women’s cross country team, although they were able to find themselves coming in near the middle of some mid-season meets like the Paul Short Run and the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association Championship. They too will look to work over the offseason and be dominant next year.
The men’s golf team saw themselves above the middle of the pack against their competition this year, coming in fifth in the second round of the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate, and winning the Sacred Heart University Fall Invitational. In a 27-hole MAAC Championship in New Jersey, they were tied for seventh out of ten teams.
In the Sacred Heart University Fall Invitational, the women’s golf team did not have as much success as the men’s team, falling to tenth out of eleven teams. Regardless, they were still able to secure a high spot in the Lehigh Invitational, where they placed fifth out of 11 participating teams to cap off their season.
Both the men’s and women’s rowing teams saw lots of success this season. Specifically, the women’s team swept through five events in their season opening race. They were able to finish how they started, with a top spot at the Overpeck Fall Invitational in New Jersey. The men’s team was able to finish in 15th at the Head of the Charles Regatta back in October, falling to difficult competitions like Harvard University and Dartmouth College.
The Fairfield University Men’s Tennis team started very strong, winning most of the matchups they faced in both the Lehigh Invitational and the Fairfield Invitational, winning 29 out of 35 matchups in Lehigh and eight out of eleven in Fairfield. They also secured singles victories in the ITA All-American Championship. In a dual matchup against Sacred Heart University, the Stags picked up a 5-2 win on their home court. Overall, these are just the highlights, since they had a very strong season all-around.
Women’s Tennis proved to be an extremely strong team this year, picking up early-season wins at both the Lehigh Invitational and the ITA Northeast Regional Championship. Before that, the team began their season against some fellow MAAC competition in the University of Connecticut, where they competed for multiple singles and doubles wins. Alongside the men’s team, they picked up a win against Sacred Heart University by a score of 4-3 at the Walsh Athletic Center courts.
The men’s soccer team ended their season with an overall record of seven wins, nine losses and two draws. The Stags were impressive under the lights of Lessing Field, winning five games at home, only losing two and tying one. Home games like Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night against the University of Hartford, Matt Turner Night against Niagara, and a “Red Out” game versus Manhattan College are just a few examples of their success at home this year; unfortunately, they were stopped in their tracks in the MAAC semifinals to Rider University.
Like the men’s team, the women’s soccer team posted an impressive 7-1-1 home record this year, with an overall record of 9-7-4. With the season beginning back in the first two weeks of August, the team was incredibly busy during the regular season, where they collected impressive wins over teams like the College of the Holy Cross, Dartmouth College and Rider University. A penalty-shootout win in the first round of the MAAC playoffs over Niagara sent them to the semifinals, where they lost to Monmouth University.
It has been quite the season for the Fairfield University field hockey team. The team was finally allowed to play games outside of the Northeast Conference, which they were restricted to due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the previous season. Posting a perfect 7-0 in-conference record propelled them to the top spot of the NEC playoffs, where they beat out both Rider University and Long Island University to win the NEC Championship. Only three days later, the victorious Stags traveled down to the University of Delaware to take on the Blue Hens in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Playoffs, where they sadly lost 3-4 in an overtime frame.
It should be no surprise to anyone that the Stags came out of the gate this season with a chip on their shoulder, looking to take the entire MAAC by storm after having the final rounds of their MAAC playoffs taken from them last year due to a COVID-19 case within the organization. So, this is exactly what they did; with a 16-2 in-conference record and a 24-8 total record, the Stags proved to the entire NCAA that they meant business. Their late-season 13-game win streak only solidified their status as the best in their conference, where they were regular season champions and the top seed in the MAAC playoffs. Later on, they would go on to beat Rider University in three sets to win the MAAC championship. They are now gearing up to play in the 64-team NCAA tournament that will be unveiled to them on Sunday, November 28 at 8:30 p.m.
This fall season has been one for the books; multiple teams have found a lot of success in the playoffs and capped off strong regular seasons to set their teams up for a strong future. Until then, the basketball teams will be taking over the winter and after that, the spring season will start up once again.