Although most Fairfield teams are beginning to condition and train for the upcoming academic year, a look back at the record-breaking and notable Stag accomplishments for the 2022-2023 season is in store. Within the two back-to-back semesters of tough play and dedicated student-athletes, some of which are still in session, each and every one of our Division I sports has proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with—and there is no doubt they will continue to reveal that in the 23-24 year as well.
After two years of construction and increasing anticipation, the women’s basketball team kicked off the opening night of the newly-christened Leo D. Mahoney Arena on Friday, Nov. 18, clinching a 77-53 win against Stonehill College.
During the season, graduate student Callie Cavanaugh earned herself a spot in the 1,000-point club and ended her collegiate career with 1,095 points. Cavenaugh was also chosen as the D1AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete, selected to be on the All-MAAC First Team and the “All-Met” Third Team.
Janelle Brown ‘24 was named to the All-MAAC Third Team.
The 22-23 team was led by Carly Thibault-DuDonis, who debuted in her first year as the head women’s coach with a record of 15-15.
On a more national scale, alumna Lou Lopez-Sénéchal ‘22 is the first-ever Fairfield graduate to be drafted into the WNBA. She was the fifth overall pick and was selected to play for the Dallas Wings.
The first Leo D. Mahoney appearance for the male Stags took place on Dec. 3, with a 67-55 win versus Saint Peter’s University. The season ended with a record of 13-18.
Red-shirt senior Jake Wojcik ‘23 added his name to the 1,000-point banner, marking himself only one of five transfer students to make it on the list.
Supreme Cook ‘24 made quite the name for himself this year, as he not only made the All-MAAC Third Team, but averaged 8.5 boards per game (most by a Stag since Amadou Sidibe ‘17) and ended the season with a .544 field goal percentage (highest by a Stag with 250+ attempts since Darren Philip ‘99) according to the @fairfieldmbb Instagram.
Players Jack Brown ‘24, Zach Crisler ‘23, Mark Henry ‘23 and Jack Mullally ‘23 were named MAAC All-Academic Team for the 22-23 season. The qualification for this achievement is to earn a grade point average of 3.2 or higher.
The women’s volleyball team ended their season with a record of 25-7, 17-1 of which were conference wins. The girls secured the 2022 MAAC Regular Season Championship, making this the team’s 21st championship win in program history.
The successful run gave Head Coach Todd Kress, who won MAAC Coach of the Year and is the winningest coach in MAAC Volleyball history, a good send-off as he left Fairfield after 13 years to accept the same position at San Jose State University. During his time as a Stag, he secured the program 283 wins, totaling his career victory count to 517. Taking his previous role, Nancy Somera succeeded Kress in early March after her time coaching at both Oregon State University and Johnson & Wales University.
As for the student-athletes, Allie Elliot ‘26 and Maya Walker ‘26 made the MAAC All-Rookie Team whereas Ella Gardiner ‘24 was selected as the All-MAAC First Team. Other stand-out players include Blakely Montgomery ‘25, who dished out 795 assists in just one season, totaling her career sets to 1,045, and Kyla Berg ‘24 who dived for a team-high of 380 digs.
KJ Johnson ‘23 rose as the team’s star, however, as she was chosen as the MAAC Player of the Year and named American Volleyball Coaches Association All-East Coast Region and All-America AVCA Honorable Mention, both of which are her second consecutive titles. She leaves the 22-23 season behind with 385 kills, practically doubling the second-highest attacker on the team, solidifying her career points to 911 (which includes her time at Baylor University).
The women’s soccer team finished highly decorated, but not surprisingly so as they earned the title of the 2022 MAAC Regular Season Champions for the eighth time in program history and the first time since 2012.
Graduate student Maddie Mills was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC First Team. Other First Team members include Caroline Kelly ‘24 and Maddy Theriault ‘26. Theriault was also named MAAC Rookie of the Year and earned a time high of eight goals this season. Mills and Elle Scott ‘24 followed close behind with six goals each.
The All-MAAC Second Team consisted of players Scott, Olivia Homan ‘23, Reagan Klarmann ‘25 and Allie Kirby ‘24. First-year Katie Wright made All-MAAC Third Team as the team goalie, blocking 70 shots from entering the Stag’s goal this season.
Junior Raz Amir spent his first year at Fairfield after transferring from Seton Hall University and made sure to make his name known. In just the 2022-2023 he played 1,629 minutes and scored 16 goals—the highest on the team. This season he was named All-MAAC First Team.
Senior Alex Oliveira and Rasmus Rejnhold ‘25 followed close behind with a total of 10 and seven total goals respectively. Goalie James Anderson ‘24 finished the season having blocked 73 shots, totaling his average save percentage to .702.
According to the @fairfieldstagsmensoccer Instagram, the team earned an average GPA of 3.37 for the fall semester, with four players achieving a 4.0 and ten with a 3.5 or above.
On the national scale, former Stag men’s soccer athlete Matt Turner ‘17, who now plays for the United States national soccer team, made his way to the World Cup this year. While the national team took a 3-1 loss in the round of 16 against the Netherlands, Turner was widely celebrated on campus and all over the country.
Women’s Field Hockey
The women’s field hockey team earned a collective average grade point average of 3.74, which is the fifth-highest GPA in Division I according to @stags_fh Instagram.
In addition to excelling in the classroom, multiple Stags shined on the turf as well. Graduate student Nora Amme was named both Northeast Conference Player of the Year and All-NEC First Team, as she scored a team-high of 25 points and 11 assists in the 2022-2023 season. Carmel Van Dijk ‘24 followed behind Amme, scoring 16 goals this season.
Women’s Cross Country
Senior Courtney Kitchen was the top finisher in the MAAC Championship with 22:47.8.
Men’s Cross Country
Sophomore Jacob Bornstein was the top finisher for the MAAC Championships with 26.31.1.
The women’s swimming and diving earned the 2023 MAAC Champions, which marks only the fourth time in program history the Stags have clinched this prestigious title. It’s no surprise, however, as two Fairfield athletes marked their names into program history.
First-year Callie Gray earned fifth all-time swimmer for the 200 IM with a time of 2:07.54. Erin Hoyland ‘25 not only beat her personal best in the 500 freestyle event with a 4:58.54, but she also earned herself the title of fourth all-time in the women’s program and third all-time in the 200 fly event with 2:06.28.
Sophomore Sydney Scalise was also named College Sports Communicators Academic All-District.
It seemed like every meet would lead to a new program record for the men’s swimming and dive team as five players not only continued to beat their personal best times but earned their way onto multiple top ten lists.
First-year Tim Regan not only beat his personal best in the 500 freestyle event with a 4:34.38 time, but he earns himself the number four spot in program history. He also achieved the sixth all-time swimmer in the 10-fly event with 50.74.
First-year Nicholas Besgen made his way as the fourth all-time as well but for the 100m-freestyle event with his time of 45.91. Graduate student Evan Fair was third all-time in program history in the 100 breaststroke event, finishing with a record of 56.27.
Sophomore Jeff Vlass made his way up to third all-time for the 200-breaststroke event with 2:03.87 whereas Oliver McLaughlin ‘26 achieved second in all-time program history for the 100-backstroke event. He finished with an impressive time of 50.41.
Both Fair and Alexey Belfer ‘24 were named CSC Academic All-District for the 2022-2023 swimming and dive season.
Men’s rowing participated in the Jesuit Invitational, UConn & Marist meet, National Collegiate Lightweight Invitational, Knecht Cup and Kerr Cup this semester. The varsity eight unit finished first in the Jesuit Invitational and National Collegiate Lightweight Invitational and were led by Florencia Caces ‘23, Arianna Welton ‘25, Christina Caruso ‘23, Emily Regan ‘24, Catherine Morrissey ‘25, Kathryn Bergstrom ‘24, Chloe Lennon ‘24, Arden Costello ‘25 and coxswain graduate student Erin Dobbs.
Men’s rowing also participated in the Jesuit Invitational, UConn & Marist meet, National Collegiate Lightweight Invitational, Knecht Cup, Kerr Cup and Dad Vail Regatta this semester. Leading the varsity eight corps for the men’s side was Michael Hamilton ‘24, Alex McLaughlin ‘26, Spencer Chidley ‘24, Ryan Wrynn ‘25, graduate student John Godwin, Brady Stergion ‘26, Michael Greene ‘23, Jerry Malloy ‘24 and coxswain Tom Flynn ‘24, who finished second at the Jesuit Invitational.
Multiple players swung their way into earning noteworthy titles for the 22-23 women’s tennis team. The All-MAAC First Team student-athletes include graduate students Lize-Alet Morkel, Aina March and Paulina Bakaite as well as Francesca Karman ‘23 and Sarah Liu ‘26. The All-MAAC Second Team consists of Katarina Plumtree ‘24, Liu and Morkel.
Liu and Bakaite shine as double partners, as they hold a 9-2 record. The overall team currently has a conference record of 5-1, but the season is still in session.
The Men’s Tennis team recently earned the title of MAAC 2023 Regular Season Champions. The small program is composed of big players as six athletes earned themselves a spot on either one of two All-MAAC teams.
All-MAAC First Team players include graduate student Kaya Gore and Alex Aguiar ‘26, whereas the All-MAAC Second Time consists of Kostas Kollias ‘26, Jonathan Olive-Blanco ‘23, Griffin Schlesinger ‘23 and graduate student Tolunay Sumer.
In the singles tournament, Gore and Schlesinger hold high records of 14-5 and 12-6 respectively. Gore and Aguiar dominated on top together in the doubles tournament as they hold a 5-2 record. The men’s team overall remains undefeated for all five of their home games, but the season still continues for the male Stags.
The women’s golf team not only won two back-to-back victories in the Hartford Hawks Invitational Round from April 7 to April 8, but they also performed a record-breaking opening round at the MAAC Championships, earning a squad card team total of 298. This is the lowest 18-hole score in program history.
And while graduate student Julia Towne marked new program records with the lowest round and score versus par in Fairfield history with 5-under, 67, both Head Coach Doug Holub and Assistant Coach Sara Laterza were named the Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year for the third season in a row.
The men’s golf team secured a T-1st win at the Sacred Heart Fall Classic Round 2 in early October this past year and has earned six separate second-place outcomes throughout the 2022-2023 season.
One athlete in the program clearly stands out on the green, and that is none other than Killian McGinley ‘23. This season, he was named Abarta Coca-Cola Invitational Champion and was given the 2023 MAAC Individual Champion title. In the Abarta Collegiate Invitational tournament, McGinley “matched the best 36-hole performance by any Stag in the last 30 years,” as posted by @fairfieldstagsgolf Instagram on April 18.
Some additional notable accomplishments for the women’s 2022-2023 season include Olivia Doody ‘23 scoring a team-high goal count of 57. Rowe trails close behind with 55, and Talluto just on her heels with 54. Graduate student Nicolletee LaVista and Rylee Harrell ‘24 also possess an incredible draw control total of 71 and 58 respectively. Senior goalie Casey Collins secured 103 saves for the Stags this season, totaling her career total to 189.
As of early April, the women’s team was named the 2023 MAAC Regular Season Champions, which gives them the opportunity to earn their fifth consecutive title as MAAC Tournament Champions.
Now that they are on the field, redshirt-junior Bryce Ford has drawn attention to himself as he joined the 100 career points list this season and has scored a team-high goal count of 51. McKenna comes in close second with 45.
First-year Will Snyder has also proven himself to be a strong team asset as he has saved 127 shots in 11 games this season so far.
Haley Updegraff ‘23 earned All-MAAC Second Team honors as she leads the team with 43 runs and also holds the season’s current team-high of two home runs.
Graduate student Kaitlin Hoffman, Delaney Whieldon ‘26, Morgan Sylvestre ‘25 and Allie Bridgman ‘24 all follow behind with one homerun each. Hoffman also leads the team in RBI with 22 and holds an impressive hitting percentage of .458.
With the team’s record of 24-14, 9-3 of which are conference matches, Head Coach Bill Currier earned his 800th career win after 11 years leading the charge.
Senior Charlie Pagliarini has hit 16 home runs just this season, breaking the program record. Throughout his athletic career at Fairfield, he has slammed 32 baseballs out of the park. Mike Becchetti ‘23 follows Pagliarini with his 12 home runs this spring. Lastly, pitcher Colin McVeigh ‘24 has thrown a team-high 57 strike-outs.
During early April, the cheer team traveled to Daytona, Fla. for the second time in program history to compete in the NCA College Nationals.