Having fate in your own hands can be a very powerful thing.
The Fairfield women’s soccer team went into the weekend controlling their destiny in terms of qualifying for the MAAC tournament. The knowledge that all they had to do was not lose was the spark the Stags needed to grasp the 4th seed in the MAAC tournament.
The Stags went on the road to take on Canisius and Niagara, with a tournament berth on the line. By the end of the weekend, the Stags had succeeded by beating Canisius 1-0 on a Kasey Schulz shot from 30 yards out. The 0-0 draw to Niagara solidified the Stags’ spot in the tournament.
While it was a total team effort to secure an entrance to the MAAC tournament, it is goalkeeper Kelly Boudreau who has earned the most accolades. In the game versus Niagara, Boudreau made eight saves, making her the all-time leading saves leader in Fairfield women’s soccer history.
The previous saves leader was Anne Lyons, who played from 1997-2000, tallying a total of 388 saves in her career. With those eight saves against Niagara, Boudreau edged Lyons out with 393 saves.
Boudreau is modest about breaking the record, however, saying: “It’s a good feeling, but as long as those saves got us the wins we needed to get into the tournament, that’s all that matters.”
Coach Jim O’Brien sees what Boudreau has accomplished as impressive, giving the utmost respect to both Boudreau and Lyons.
“Fairfield University, for years and years, has been known for having outstanding goalkeepers, Anne Lyons being one,” O’Brien said. “So Kelly is from a long line of excellent keepers, that have been part of Fairfield University’s women’s soccer program.”
Boudreau, a graduate of Farmington High School in Connecticut, also won her 6th MAAC Defensive Player of the Week award this season. The Stags goaltender has not allowed a goal in over 481 minutes and has posted four consecutive shoutouts. Her .870 save percentage and GAA (goals against average) of 0.62 tops all other goalkeepers in the MAAC conference.
If Boudreau can keep up her current form, she should not only be able to further her number of saves, but also help the Stags on their way to a MAAC championship, or even beyond.
Boudreau’s hopes for the upcoming games is “winning a MAAC championship, potentially making and winning an NCAA game…the number one goal since I’ve been here is to win an NCAA game because we’ve never done it before.”
Coach O’Brien also has high hopes for the Stags going into the tournament.
“I feel at this point, the hardest thing for us was qualifying for the tournament,” he said. “We feel that once we were able to get into the tournament, the chances of us winning it are very good.”
The Stags have drawn first seed Marist to play on November 4th. In regular season play, Marist edged out a 1-0 victory on a goal in the opening moments of the game.
However, after the Stags 4-0 win over Rider, Coach O’Brien thinks the Stags have all the confidence to reverse the score line this time around.
“I think that was the force to give us the confidence that we could score goals in goals and score multiple goals,” O’Brien said.