Many tourists and families head to Disney World for vacation. The Stags instead headed south to partake in the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. On Saturday, Oct. 28 the Stags, at No. 7, opened up the five-day tournament against the No. 10 Iona Gaels.
It looked as though Fairfield would advance to the next round at the “happiest place on earth” as they dominated almost the entire match. Unfortunately, Iona had different plans as they scored to tie the game 1-1 with 9:19 left in regulation.
Overtime could not help to decide a winner so penalty kicks ensued for both teams. Often viewed as the most heartbreaking way to lose a game, the Gaels sent the Stags packing after closely out-shooting them 2-1 to capture the victory. With the loss, Fairfield finished the season with a 6-9-2 record.
Head coach Jim O’Brien preached how they had a great season and that next year looks promising for the soccer program. “We feel like we are right on the edge of turning that corner and improving and being successful within the conference,” he said.
Luckily for the Stags, they did not have to leave the sunshine state so soon as the MAAC award ceremony was two nights later on Monday, Oct. 30. First-year Alex Madden was named the conference Co-Rookie of the Year; an accomplishment that O’Brien believed was well deserved. “She carries herself well out on the field and was very productive given the short adjustment time she had coming over from England,” he said.
As a team, Fairfield had 12 girls named to the All-Academic team: Katherine Lynch ’18, Katie Brady ‘18, Jenna Pike ‘18, Kelsey Burke ‘18, Faith Daley ‘18, Jackie Goudreault ‘18, Megan DeFeo ‘19, Holly Habyan ‘19, Jenny Jacobs ‘19, Taylor Psirogianes ’19, Melanie Hingher ‘20 and Kiley Deignan ‘20.
Coach O’Brien was happy about this as he often preaches the importance of succeeding both inside and outside the classroom. “The girls are diligent students doing their homework and putting in their study hall hours. They are conscious and accountable when it comes to academics,” he said. In order to gain a spot on the All-Academic team each girl must maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher.
Flying back to Bradley International Airport in Hartford this week, the Stags will have plenty of great memories to take out of their stay in Florida. Coach O’Brien will use this experience to motivate his team to try and improve on a good season next year.