After suffering a tough loss to Central Connecticut State University, the Stags were ready to redeem themselves in their game against Yale. On Sunday, Sept. 22, Fairfield University Women’s Soccer was able to capture a win against the Bulldogs, 1-0.
So far this season, the team has been preparing themselves for the MAAC division games through non-conference games.
The Yale game helped boost confidence that the team will carry on for the rest of the season.
“We had a tough loss on Friday night, we were a little flat, but today we came out with a lot of energy and we really pressed them,” said Coach Jim O’Brien.
The Stags started off the half strong, outshooting Yale by eleven. Throughout the half, Nikki Stanton ‘14 led the team by taking multiple shots on the goal, but Fairfield struggled to score. Senior Jac Ley led the team by dominating their defensive side. With the ball on Fairfield’s offensive side for the majority of the first half, the Stags continued to press Yale, and with a minute left in the first half, Brenna Brown ‘17, assisted by Stanton, scored from the defensive half past back line.
In the second half, Yale picked up the pace. Taking eight shots on goal rather than two, Fairfield was forced to play defensively. The Stags had managed to take control of the lead until, with twelve minutes left, Yale had scored.
However, officials called off the goal when they believed Yale scored the ball with their hands. After the handball, the Stags had twelve minutes left to keep their lead.
Their defense and offense proved to have a better ability to stay in the game and at the last whistle, the Stags walked away with their last non-conference win before the MAAC games start.
“Our team worked really, really hard on our fitness this week and it showed that Yale struggled to deal with our depth and fitness,” said O’Brien.
With the help of Emma Pichel ‘15 anchoring the back line and Stanton playing tremendously at midfield, the Stags were able to shut out Yale, which is a huge accomplishment. It had been the first time since 2008 that the Stags defeated the Bulldogs.
Although the win brings confidence, the team is ready to move onto the next challenge. On Wednesday, the Stags will take on St. Peters University for their first MAAC Conference game.
In the past, the Stags have done quite well in their opening games and they’re looking to continue on with the tradition.
“We have a hard week of practices so we’re going to work hard and get everything we need to practice in for our first MAAC game,” said Pichel.