The Fairfield University women’s soccer team captured a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Regular Season Crown on Sunday, with a 5-0 home win over Manhattan College. The victory improves the Stags to 11-5-2 on the year and 8-1-0 in conference action, while the Lady Jaspers fall to 5-12-0 overall and 2-7-0 in league play.
Lauren Reilly paced the Stags offense with her fist career hat trick, which included the game-winning tally. Nikki Stanton touched the ball to the foot of Stephanie Sutherby at the top of the 18, and she lofted it to the head of Reilly, who knocked it home at 5:23. It took just 42 seconds for the Stags to take the 2-0 lead, this time as Carly Beyar played a long ball into the box that Shannon Fay headed into the back of the net.
Reilly scored next her second at the 13:01 mark as Kasey Schulz played a ball from the near side to the back post, where Reilly headed it off the crossbar and home. The hat trick was completed at 20:42 when Schulz put the ball to Reilly’s foot on the near post and she put it home. Erin Pettersen finished the scoring with a rally in the 71st minute, putting home a rebound of her own shot.
Three Fairfield goalkeepers combined to earn the team’s 10th shutout of the season. Kathleen Early started and earned the win, not facing a shot in the first-half of play. Veronica Saez stopped three shots in her 35:06 to start the second-half and Sophia DeVita had one save in her time in goal. Kara Davis stopped four shots, and allowed four goals, in 55:14 for Manhattan, while Kristen Skonieczny had three saves, and allowed one goal, in 34:46.
The Stags, who will be the second-seed at next weekend’s MAAC Championship, last earned a regular season crown in 2002, with an 8-0-1 record. It is the seventh time that the Stags have won a portion of the regular season crown.
Fairfield will take on third-seeded Loyola University Maryland in the MAAC Semifinals on Friday, at 5 p.m. at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Marist, the top-seed, will take on fourth-seeded Iona College at 7 p.m. The championship game will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.