On the chilly Saturday night of Oct. 13, the Fairfield University Women’s Soccer Team entered Lessing Field to honor the senior class and defend their home pitch against top seeded Monmouth University in front of 416 fans. The Stags were playing for their second conference win, whereas Monmouth was playing for their seventh.
The first half featured a lot of scoring opportunities for each side. Monmouth found the back of the net first during minute 16. Monmouth’s Lexie Palladino scored her first goal of the season from the top of the box behind a shot that bounced passed Fairfield goalkeeper, Aytana Muschajew ‘22. This goal provided Monmouth with the momentum to keep shooting as they registered four shots and one corner kick in the next eight minutes. However, Fairfield defense stayed strong and resilient to thwart off these attempts.
In minute 39, Monmouth scored their second goal of the game. Jesi Rossman converted a corner kick into a header that snuck past Muschajew into the bottom right of the net. This goal ignited a spark for the Stags. Twenty seconds later, Maggie Walsh ‘19 assisted Alex Madden ‘21 who got Fairfield on the scoreboard 2-1.
The Stags were back in the match, although the one goal difference did not last long as Monmouth scored a third goal in minute 43 when Jill Conklin ‘22 scored a header goal off of a corner kick.
The first half ended with six Fairfield shots compared to Monmouth’s 18.
Monmouth came out energized and Fairfield looked flat in the second half as the late third goal in the first half slowed Fairfield’s hopes of securing a win or tie. Monmouth attempted nine shots compared to Fairfield’s one. Monmouth added a fourth goal in minute 58 to secure the win. The final score read 4-1, Monmouth.
Fairfield now falls to 6-7-2 overall and 1-4-2 in the MAAC as Monmouth climbs to 12-3-1 and 7-1-0. As the 10th seed in the MAAC, Fairfield has a tough challenge ahead as they need to close the season with wins over the next three MAAC opponents. The Stags will continue their pursuit of a MAAC postseason berth.
On the game as a whole, senior captain Jenny Jacobs ‘19, shared her thoughts: “Losing 4-1 is never fun, however we were able to take away a few positives from the game. We were able to honor the eight seniors who have dedicated blood, sweat and tears to the program for the last four years and we were given the opportunity to really refine our defending tactics. Monmouth is a great team, but now we are on to the next in hopes of making the MAAC playoffs”.
The Stags play Saint Peter’s University on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in a midweek matchup on Lessing Field at 7 p.m.. Once again, in search of a second conference win.