Fairfield University men’s soccer is headed for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals, with a 2-0 win against Niagara University, which took place on Sunday, Nov. 7.  

This week’s spotlight goes to Jonathan Filipe ‘22, who assisted the second goal of the game, scored by Santiago Gonzalez ‘22, and has served as a vital player for men’s soccer during his four years at Fairfield.

Filipe is a renowned forward for the team and in the 2020-2021 season was ranked as the team’s top scorer, with three goals and two assists. This season, that reputation seems to surely proceed with three goals being scored against Canisius College at Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, NY, on October 30, in a 4-1 win.  

After a tough loss against Marist College on November 3, Filipe said, “After the game, I felt a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to impact the game enough to help my team get the victory but regardless, I was also very proud of the team for fighting throughout the entire season, this game included.” HE also stated that “The result may have not gone our way but we are moving forward to achieve our team goal of winning the MAAC tournament.”

According to a press release published on Fairfield University Stags, Filipe is one of the “four Fairfield University men’s soccer student-athletes” who earned recognition from the MAAC this past week, placing second among MAAC scoring leaders; throughout this season, he has had ten goals and five assists, totaling 25 points through the 16-game regular season. These awards were announced on Nov. 8 by the MAAC and the selection of recipients was voted upon by MAAC scoring leaders. 

Filipe, along with fellow forward Thomas Drillien ‘24, took All-MAAC second-team accolades. The other two recipients were forward Rasmus Sorensen Rejnhold ‘25, who received a designated spot on the MAAC All-Rookie team, and defender Cormac Pike ‘22 who was granted a spot on the All-MAAC first team. 

Filipe was the team’s “most accurate shooter,” having 28 attempts on the net throughout the 2021 season thus far, out of the total 56 attempts taken by the team as a whole. 

This has been my best season so far but it would never have been possible without the support from my teammates,” says Filipe. “They have put in many extra hours with me, some even individually, which has strengthened our chemistry within the team and thankfully reflected on my performance this year.”

Looking back at the other three recipients, Pike has done an exceptional job of controlling the Stags’ defense on the field, which is only further shown in his receival of All-MAAC honors in the 2020-21 spring season and MAAC All-Rookie laurels in 2018. Throughout his four years on the team, the defensive line has only allowed 1.31 goals per game, a significantly low number. Not only has Pike been of great help on defense, but he has also scored four goals and has had seven assists for a total of 15 points on the season. 

The other recipient of the same award of Filipe is Drillien, who also was granted MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie honors in 2020-2021. He is ranked as the second-best scorer on the team, with six goals and five assists for 17 points in total. He has played in every one of the 17 games thus far. 

The last of the four recipients, Sorensen Rejnhold has put together one of the best first-year seasons in Fairfield’s history, scoring seven goals and two assists for 16 points. He was named MAAC Rookie of the Week on October 18 after scoring both goals in a win over Manhattan College and the third goal in a 2-0 decision over Iona College. “The forward led the team with three game-winning goals and scored on seven of his 13 shots on goal” according to the same press release. 

All in all, Fairfield’s Men’s Soccer has had an incredible season, which will only continue as they head to the MAAC Tournament semifinals with a 2-0 win over Niagara in a quarterfinal match on November 7. The team will head off to Rider University to play in a semifinal match on Nov. 11 with kick-off starting at 7 p.m.

I do believe that the team is prepared to go into this tournament and we have progressively been developing as a team over the season,” says Filipe. “The team has put a lot of effort into the season and we have bounced back from many games that didn’t go our way, I do believe that we will be able to do it again.”

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