The Fairfield University women’s soccer program held their own against two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference combatants. During the week on Wednesday, Oct. 16 they shut out Marist College (6-8-1, 3-3-1 MAAC), picking up a 2-0 victory at home on Lessing Field. They then visited Rider University (7-3-4, 4-1-2 MAAC) in Lawrenceville, NJ. Neither teams were able to secure a win, and after two periods of over-time, the two yielded a 2-2 draw. Fairfield’s record currently stands as 6-8-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the MAAC.
Fairfield fought past the less than ideal weather on Wednesday when they took down Marist College. In the pouring rain, they held off the Red Foxes with ease. Fairfield accrued 20 total shots, 13 on goal, while Marist only tallied half of that with 10, and seven on-target. In the first half, Fairfield made 11 shots while Marist failed to count any.
Marist’s goaltender Natalie Kelchner held off the Stags, and accounted for their stealth play which got often past the Red Fox’s defence. Kelchner allowed only two goals and made 11 saves in her 90 minutes in the cage. On the other end of the field, Aytana Muschajew ‘22 was a brick wall, making seven saves, which is her season high.
Sophomore Stephanie Tsangaris and Nicole Stryjek ‘21 were credited with the only goals of the afternoon. Their performance resulted in Fairfield’s seventh shutout of the 2019 season. Tsangaris’s goal was her sixth of the season, a feat that lands her among the most elite athletes in the conference. She ranks in second place in the conference for goals scored, tied with her teammate Liz Dumas ‘21 who has six of her own. Stryjek trails only one goal behind, with five on the season.
After the 2-0 sweep, Fairfield was tasked with taking down Rider. The first half was quiet for Fairfield. Rider scored off of a rebound 13 minutes in. Fairfield took about 35 minutes after the first point to respond with a goal of their own. The Stags were purely lucky, as the ball deflected off of a Bronc defender and into the box, evening the score 1-1. Rider continued the back-and-forth pattern that had been established, and broke free of the draw, scoring from a penalty kick.
Sophomore Brooke Hernon was dynamite on offense, wracking up seven shots. She directed a free kick in Jenn Wahlig ‘20’s direction, who capitalized on the opportunity and scored Fairfield’s equalizing second goal.
When regulation time ran out, the teams were forced into two periods of overtime, where no progress was made and a 2-2 draw was settled.
Fairfield returns to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at home versus the Iona College Gaels (5-10-2, 2-4-1 MAAC) at 7:00 p.m.