In one of the most anticipated games of the season, the Fairfield Women’s Soccer Team was able to prevail and defeat one of their biggest rivals, Marist, with a score of 2-1.
Earlier in the season, both teams were deemed as two of the top competitors in the conference.
“They’re a real big rival for us.” said Fairfield Coach Jim O’Brien, “We were voted preseason number one; they were voted pre-season number two and they weren’t happy about that.”
Despite the unhappiness displayed by Marist, the Stags battled back with even more energy to defend their place in the conference.
The first half was played extremely aggressive by both teams, but Fairfield managed to take seven shots on goal while Marist fell short with only three. After a tiring first half, Fairfield’s Erin Pettersen ‘15, assisted by Ashley Small ‘15, was able to make a beautiful shot through the goalkeeper’s legs, making the score 1-0.
Marist began to pick up the intensity of the second half. Looking to continue their perfect MAAC division record, Marist’s offense worked every angle to put a score on the table. However, Fairfield’s defense, led by Megan O’Brien ‘15, was nearly unstoppable. Two yellow cards later, one from Fairfield and one from Marist, Fairfield was just hoping to walk away with the win. But with two minutes left in the second half, Marist’s Alycia Cartica, headed the ball into the left corner of the goal.
The score was 1-1 and the game was up in the air, but Fairfield fired back only thirteen seconds later. Rushing up the field, Pam Coufos ‘17, of Fairfield, stormed past Marist and brought the ball to the right corner of the field. From there, Coufos passed the ball to Small, positioned in front of the goal, and scored for the Stags. The score was then 2-1, and the team had two minutes until they would have defeated Marist in one of the best games of the season.
The Stags made attempts to slow the game down in the last two minutes, but Marist continued to take shots on goal. Fairfield’s goalkeeper Kathleen Early ‘15 made four saves to keep the team ahead. As the clock buzzed, the crowd erupted into cheers. Although the game was tight, overall O’Brien was happy with the outcome.
“The game was exhilarating and the girls fought really hard,” said O’Brien. “It wasn’t a pretty game but it was good of the girls to not get rattled by that goal in the second half.”
Now 2-0-0 in the regular season, the team is hoping to continue on with the perfect record. The Stags are scheduled to play the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Wednesday. Since the Bobcats are the newest team to the division, the two teams have no history together. With the talent and leadership of captain Nikki Stanton ‘14, who O’Brien added has consistently been the best player on the team at midfield, the Stags are confident to get the next win.