The Fairfield University women’s soccer team punched their ticket to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship game on Thursday, Nov. 2 at Lessing Field, trouncing Mount Saint Mary’s University in the process, 3-0.
After a quiet first half that saw no offensive action, it was all Fairfield in the second half. The offensive started to go on a tear at the 58th-minute mark, as defensive back Meghan Carragher ‘26 executed a successful corner kick that found her teammates, forward Maddy Theriault ‘26 and midfielder Allie Kirby ‘24, with the latter sinking a shot past Mount St. Mary’s goalkeeper Kill Keshwar for a 1-0 lead. Kirby netted her third goal of the campaign while being assisted by Theirault and Carragher, who each got their sixth assist of the year in the process.
Five minutes later, the Meghan Thierault show began on Lessing Field, as the Palmer, Mass. native netted her ninth goal of the campaign thanks to an interception from forward Elle Scott ‘24 as she intercepted a goal kick. The Ashby, Mass. native then found her fellow Bay State companion downfield, who fired one through to give the Stags a 2-0 lead.
The show did not stop there, as Thierault scored again four minutes later at the 67th-minute mark, as Scott passed the ball over to midfielder Reagan Klarmann ‘25, who found Thierault who then ran down the ball by trouncing Keshwar to obtain her conference-leading tenth goal on the campaign. This was the first time in Thierault’s career that she hit double digits in goals.
That was all she wrote, as the Stags secured the shutout in frigid conditions at Lessing Field. Without the spectacular efforts of goaltender Katie Wright ‘26, no shutout would have likely materialized. The Sutton, Mass. native stopped five huge shots and became a thorn in the Mountaineers’ side in the process. The biggest save of the night came on a penalty kick at the 78th-minute mark, making a huge save that effectively put the nail in the coffin. This was her seventh shutout of the season and the 11th of her collegiate career, placing her seventh on the all-time program list.
With the win, the Stags made their first MAAC championship appearance in four years, along with the tenth in program history. Head coach David Barrett was very pleased with his team’s effort.
“We’re obviously pleased to get the result,” said head coach David Barrett, after gaining the pass to his second MAAC Championship match, according to the game’s official press release. “I thought we were a little conservative with our possession in the first half. In the second half, we were more dangerous and put them on their heels more. We were effective enough in the second half, we had some good finishes. We’re pleased to be moving on.”
Three days later, on Nov. 5, the Stags played in the MAAC championship game against the Quinnipiac University Bobcats. Even though the herd put in a spirited effort against a 13-win program, the Stags fell short, 1-0.
In a game that was all about defense, the Bobcats scored 49 seconds into the match off of a corner kick that found MAAC Golden Boot award-winner Courtney Chochol to give Quinnipiac a 1-0 advantage. This became the only scoring action on the day, as the scoresheet remained unchanged for the rest of the game.
Even though Fairfield fell short, they still managed to keep the Quinnipiac offense in check. Those efforts were led by the brilliant efforts of goaltender Wright. The Sutton, Mass. native made three saves on the day, but also set the tone for the rest of the unit in front of her, as the defense frustrated the Bobcats with takeaways and being in a solid position to make plays. The squad got outshot 13-10, the first time the team had been all season.
On offense, Theriault led the pack with four shots, while Scott had two more, making a solid push but failing to get anything past the Quinnipiac defensive force.The Stags conclude their season with a 10-6-4 mark, including a 7-2-1 pact in MAAC play. For information surrounding the women’s soccer team, please visit fairfieldstags.com.