StagTracks

A first-person account of Stags Athletics!

My Take

Senior Michael O’Keeffe – Men’s Soccer

He walked into dinner with a swagger only someone who is the best in the business can pull off, yet he humbly made a point to go around the table and shake and introduce himself personally to everyone.

Before dinner was served he had only two demands… that the females go first and there were two chicken drumsticks left over for him!

It set the tone for the evening, a casual comedic dinner filled with his insightful and personal opinions regarding the NBA playoff race, MVP candidates and MJ and Lebron comparisons as requested by the students.

I sat there laughing the whole night along with the 25 other students in attendance at his ability to shape and formulate his argument in such a way that left you in awe of his incredible way with words.

Thanks to FUSA and Fairfield University Athletics for this fantastic opportunity.

 

Seniors with SAS

 

Senior Tiffany Lawson – Softball

From the anticipation of his arrival, to the excitement he brought to the building, Stephan A. Smith had everyone on the edge of their seats wanting more.

The audience was captivated by his hilarious comments and inspiring life lessons. He effortlessly demanded respect from his audience by his knowledge of sports and his ability to confidently yet effectively deliver his opinions. To me, Stephen A. Smith is exactly what you see on television. Debating sports with him is simply not a good idea. Mr. Smith is a living example of how hard work and determination pays off.

What I liked most about Mr. Smith was how real he was in delivering his message. He taught me life lessons after college and the importance of staying focus and determined. He is a man full of wisdom and personality. He said in order to succeed in life’s journey; you have to out work your competition. His life stories were motivating and touching as he worked his way up the professional ladder.

He is certainly a tremendous man to look up to and admire. This is a man who has been through life’s hardships but still came out on top. The overall experience of meeting Stephen A. Smith was one to always remember.

Something About Sarah

Blog Note: The Fairfield Department of Athletics has several staff members that work as graduate assistant’s.  While working nearly full-time in their respective field, they are also full-time graduate students. The GA’s will team up to bring you a look at Athletics from their eyes.

My name is Sarah Minice and I am the Graduate Assistant for Athletic Communications.  I played under Coach Julie Brzezinski on the Softball team for four years before graduating in 2011.  In my final semester, Jack Jones offered me a great opportunity to both continue my education and gain experience in the athletics field which I just could not pass up.

As far as my job responsibilities, I am the primary contact for Field Hockey and the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams.  In the winter, I help out with both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams, so you could say it gets a bit chaotic in our back office when seasons overlap.  There are three months of the year that are jam packed for the Athletic Communications office, November and February/March.

This past November was a new experience for me because while I was finishing up midterms and preparing for finals, I also traveled three out of the four weekends with either Field Hockey or Women’s Basketball.  It was a tough schedule, but completely worth it.  Not only did I visit Universities and states that I have never been to before, but I learned so much about both teams and sports.

Growing up just outside of Seattle (as a diehard Seahawks and Mariners fan), field hockey and basketball weren’t very big sports.  In fact, I didn’t even know what field hockey was before coming to Fairfield.  So although my love of sports was obvious coming into this position, I can’t say I knew everything there was to know about each sport here at Fairfield.

One trip in particular that stood out this past month was with the Women’s

Basketball team to Butler University.  Everyone was so excited to play at Hinkle Fieldhouse and there I was trying to figure out why.  Well I got my answer as soon as we walked in.  There were trophy cases full of memorabilia and history all over the walls.  For those of you who don’t know, the movie Hoosiers was filmed in Hinkle Fieldhouse.  The best part of the whole thing was that Head Coach Joe Frager and Coach Dennis Masi had their “Christmas morning” faces on as soon as we walked into the main gym.

Now that November is over, we focus on our winter sports until February/March rolls around and the chaos begins again.

 

Sarah – Go Stags!!

Casey’s Corner

Blog note: Casey Heely is a freshman goalkeeper for the Fairfield field hockey team.

 

It’s been a bumpy ride since our venture to Michigan two weeks ago.  We have had six matchups, one being our first conference game of the season.

Two weekends ago, we shut out Holy Cross 4-0 in a great performance by the Stags. We then fell to Columbia 4-3 at their field, a tough loss. Unfortunately we then fell to our first conference opponent in double overtime. Although we lost the match, we competed with UNH for the majority of the game, with massive saves by Maddy Sposito, along with defensive saves by Michelle Loor and Nikki McLucas and a picture perfect goal by Lindsey Hatch assisted by Hillary Fitts. The game had many highlights, but we were unable to pull through with the desired result.

With hope to avenge this loss, we traveled to Rhode Island on Sunday to face Brown University. This match was particularly special for me because it was my first collegiate start, where I was given my first 70 minutes of hockey. I had missed being on the pitch, for in high school, I played essentially every minute of every game for four years, finishing with a heartbreaking loss in the Suffolk County championships in sudden death strokes. You could say I was itching to redeem myself from that game that still haunts my dreams. However, the first half was a definite reminder of how I am competing at a level superior to my previous experience. Within the first three minutes I was scored on, which was not easy to cope with. Then, before the end of the half I was scored upon two more times. I felt that I had worked so hard for this moment to prove that everything I had done since August 10th was worth it. But, as the sport goes, you don’t always get what you wish for.  My teammates were more than supportive; especially my fellow goalie Maddy [Sposito] and they all forced me to refocus on what I knew I could do. So for the second half, I was able to keep the ball out of the net. However, it was not enough, as we still fell 3 to 1.

Our assistant coach Joey [Civico] always tells us “it’s the next game that defines you.” I appreciatively got this chance a few days later when we faced Siena College, where I again started and played the entire game. It was an impressive turnout by the stags, with an 8-0 win—and my first shutout. Although I only had four saves, it was still a confidence boost from the tough Brown loss. It gave me the belief that as long as I put my mind to it, I can be the goalkeeper my team needs me to be.

After this game, we traveled eight hours up to the University of Maine where we competed in our second conference game. Another heartbreaking loss of 2-1 in overtime, with the Stags dominating the entire game, made for a rough trip home. Even from the sideline it was hard to bear. This Friday, we hope to come back from our two conference losses when we face America East opponent University of Albany on our home field at 3 PM.

Casey’s Corner

Blog Note: Casey Heely is a freshman goalkeeper for the field hockey team.

 

On Thursday, the Fairfield Field Hockey team and I took our season first cross-country trip to Michigan and opened with a contest against St. Louis. With a goal by Nikki McLucas, we edged St. Louis 1-0 to win our first match of the tournament. After a family tailgate with our most dedicated fans, our team prepared for a day that allowed us to experience the atmosphere of a Big 10 college campus. The day, of course, started with a training session that focused solely on the elements needed to compete against Michigan on Sunday. We then were able to get a glimpse of the competition while watching the match up of St. Louis and Michigan, a game that ended with a 6-2 Michigan victory. With the scouting complete, the team and I moved on to one of our most exciting aspects of the trip – a University of Michigan football game. For us, simply walking through the town of Ann Arbor on game day was an experience similar to culture shock. The entire town was clad in yellow and navy blue-and that is not an exaggeration. It was obvious we were outsiders until we, for the day, took on the persona of a Michigan undergrad and bought shirts, hats and programs to show our faux school spirit. It was shocking to walk into a stadium that held over 100,000 fans to watch a college team play. Coming from a small private school without a football program, we were in a completely different atmosphere – not to say that we in any way lack school pride. It was just the sheer number of people that came out to see this game that awed us all. But I believe we were all humbled by this experience as we stowed our Michigan attire to take on our biggest opponent thus far on Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, the match ended with a 5-0 loss to Michigan-although we were never counted out of the game. We are now looking to improve as we move into our last week before conference play that begins with our competition against Holy Cross on Thursday at 4 PM. We still have a lot to prove to show why we are deservedly ranked #23-as the entire audience at U-of-M now know:

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