The Fairfield University men’s soccer team (2-4-3) returned home after a 1-0 win last weekend over the United States Military Academy Black Knights (2-5-1). The Stags started off the week with a primetime Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 0-0 tie on Wednesday, Oct. 2 against the Rider University Broncos (3-3-1).
This matchup between the two potential MAAC contenders was a defensive battle, spearheaded by both goalies. Fairfield keeper Gordon Botterill ‘21 posted a scoreless day, with seven saves. Rider goalkeeper Pablo Gatinois also stopped each and every shot he saw, highlighted by an incredible save on a free kick by Fairfield’s Matt McGlinchey ‘21, keeping the Fairfield offense at bay.
McGlinchey totaled three shots, including two on net, leading the offensive charge for Fairfield. Forward Johnathan Filipe ‘22 also put three shots up, including two on goal. As the game descended into overtime, Fairfield kept the pressure on, putting three shots on Rider’s Gatinois, who was able to turn away each threat.
A tough game was interrupted at halftime by the announcement of artist Fetty Wap being named the headliner for Red Sea Madness, a fall concert preceded by a pep rally introducing the Fairfield University men’s and women’s basketball programs.
Fairfield coach Carl Rees gave his thoughts on the team’s performance. “I give credit to the guys who wrestled the game back from a very good Rider team,” he said. “Defensively, we stood firm against a good attacking team. It’s encouraging that we went toe to toe with a good Rider side. We just need to be more clinical offensively and turn clear cut opportunities into goals.”
After starting their conference season with that tie, Fairfield then fell in overtime to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (4-3-0), 4-3.
McGlinchey set up defender Cormac Pike ‘22 to put the first Fairfield shot into the goal. Forward Cooper Knecht ‘22 buried two of his three shots. His last one gave Fairfield a 3-2 lead in the second half. Botterill struggled, allowing four goals on five shots on goal.
Saint Peters forward Dominic Laws scored the neutralizing third goal in the 57th minute, then assisted on the game winning goal four minutes into extra time. With the loss to Saint Peters, Fairfield fell to 0-1-1 in conference play.
Fairfield continues conference play on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. when they travel to New Rochelle, NY to play the Iona University Gaels (6-2).