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When it comes to sports, it’s incredibly easy for an athlete to let accolades go to their head. That’s why it is refreshing to see a pair such as men’s soccer’s Jordan Ayris and Jack Burridge, who quickly credited their own success onto the back of their teammates.

Burridge, a graduate student from South Shields, England, and Ayris, a freshman from Bicester, England, have recently been granted MAAC weekly awards and they are the top two scorers on the squad.

Ayris leads the team with 7 goals and 3 assists, with Burridge being second with 3 goals and 4 assists.

Even with all the attention, Burridge admits, “The media kind of always focuses on that kind of stuff, but honestly the lads have been great all season and it’s unfair. We’re just a representation of them, as well as a representation of our coaches. We wouldn’t care if it were Michael O’Keeffe [goal keeper] scoring as long as we’re winning.”

The Stags as a whole have been just as red-hot as their leading strikers. With a 2-1 win Sunday over MAAC opponent Marist, they have launched themselves to the front of the division with a 5-0-1 record.

Not surprisingly, the winning goal of the game came off the foot of Ayris. As Burridge put it, “He comes up big at the times when we need a goal.”

Aside from his game winner Sunday, Ayris has had multiple clutch goals against Canisius with 1:25 left in the second overtime, as well as a timely strike against Loyola to make the game 2-0.

His tendency to come up big is why Burridge compares Ayris to Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Mexican soccer player for Manchester United, in England). Ayris gave a kind nod back to Burridge by likening him to powerful English striker Andy Carroll, who also has a tendency to score important goals.

As both Aryis and Burridge made the journey from England to join the Stags, they found that adjusting to America was somewhat difficult. In terms of how the style of play varies, Ayris says “it’s a lot more [competitive] back home…with the kicks and elbows.”

Burridge thought that the biggest difference was in terms of what is expected athletically.

“Here, it’s more of who can run and who’s the fittest all around,” he says, “in England, it’s more [English] football oriented.”

Not only did Ayris and Burridge have to adjust to differences in the field; they also had to deal with differences in culture.

For Ayris, he misses “English chocolate the most.” For Burridge, he misses “going to the [English] football games on Saturday. Going to watch the professional football on a Saturday afternoon is like what everyone does. And also we miss our families, of course.”

Luckily for Ayris, as well as the other incoming freshman, the upperclassmen were ready to offer their experience and help out the younger guys.

“It’s just getting (the freshman) involved with the camaraderie and the banter…that’s what we call it. It’s just making sure that they can come out and do what they can do best on the football pitch,” said Burridge.

If the current play of the Stags is any indication, it would seem that the upperclassmen succeeded in helping the freshman adjust. The team is a cohesive unit that is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

The next chance to come out and support Ayris, Burridge and the entire Fairfield men’s soccer team will be when they host Iona College in a MAAC conference battle on Lessing Field, October 22nd at 7 P.M.

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