The stands were full, the sun was out and the Stags were ready to go. After coming off a 4-1 home win against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe Bryant on Friday, Oct. 23, the Stags finished up its home stand as they hosted the Siena Saints on Sunday, Oct. 25. Fairfield jumped to an early lead in the first half with two goals and carried the momentum into the second half of the game to pick up the dominant 6-1 victory.
But before the start to the game, Fairfield honored its seniors — Erin Connors, Kaitlyn Taddeo, Emily McCauley and Elizabeth Thiroway — as they took part in their final home game as a member of the field hockey team.
Fairfield started the game as the aggressor on both sides of field. The Stags looked to jump ahead early in the first with a couple of strong possessions that led to opportunities on goal, but the shots were either wide or defended well. The Stags did not pick up their first goal until the 31st minute of the first, when McCauley found Taddeo open for her first goal of the season.
The Stags did not finish there, as they scored once again just 26 seconds later after Jaclyn Gallagher ’18 connected on an assist by Ruth Smalbraak ‘19 to give them a 2-0 lead.
“They were key; we knew we had to score before the half. We didn’t get our first goal until about seven minutes left in the half and if we had gone in 0-0, I think we would have gave Siena more momentum. But scoring one and then scoring another in less than a minute determined the rest of the game,” said head coach Jackie Kane of the team’s early goals.
Junior Ann Burgoyne started things off in the second for the Stags when she and Taddeo found themselves on the counter attack. Burgoyne found herself in front of the net to score the game’s third goal.
Already with an assist on the game, Smalbraak added not one but two goals in consecutive possessions. On the first goal, Smalbraak rifled a shot from the top of the circle to beat the keeper. After recovering a loose ball, Smalbraak shot it right back into the net to give them a 5-0 lead. “I think I played with a lot of energy and I think the team played really well today. The energy level was high and it wasn’t just me, it was the whole team that did great,” said Smalbraak after scoring two consecutive goals.
Before the game was over, Siena was able to convert and score a goal, but Fairfield scored one final time as Thiroway connected for her first career goal to give the Stags the 6-1 win.
“We talked to our defense because we had a little slump in the middle of the year with Columbia and Rider scoring so many goals on us, so we just really regrouped and talked about pride and how important it was not to give the other team opportunities and let anybody into the game. I’m really proud of our defense for only allowing two goals this entire weekend,” said Kane.
Fairfield will close out its season on the road as they travel to take on in-state rivals Sacred Heart on Friday, Oct. 30, followed by Quinnipiac on Sunday, Nov 1.