Women's College Soccer
Fairfield University 1, Rider University 0
LAWRENCEVILLE- When preseason workouts began in August, there was a Blue Moon (two full moons in one month). Blue Moons are not as rare as most people believe, certainly not as rare as a soccer victory over the Stags.
Rider has not beaten the Stags in the last eight tries, and the Broncs haven't scored in the last four meetings.
The Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game in the final minute of play to Fairfield Friday night.
"Giving up a goal with that little time left is disappointing," said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. "We've got to play a little bit better."
Fairfield (4-3-2, 1-0 MAAC) scored on a rebound with just 40 second left in the game after Rider senior goalkeeper Jenn Nichols (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) made a save.
"Jenn played well," Hounsome said. "She made one really nice save in the first half."
Nichols had nine saves in the game. Nichols leads the MAAC with four shutouts and is third in the conference in both save percentage and goals against average.
Fairfield out-shot Rider (5-2-2, 0-1 MAAC) 18-6, including 10-2 in shots on goal. "We battled hard and we created some chances, but we turned the ball over too much," Hounsome said. "We turned the ball over at the end and they capitalized."
Fairfield has the least amount of goals scored so far in the MAAC with just six on the season, and is tied with Rider with allowing the least amount of goals with just eight.
"We knew it wasn't going to be a high-scoring game," Hounsome said, "and their goalkeeper made some nice saves."
Kathleen Early made two saves in the Fairfield nets for the shutout.
Fairfield has made the MAAC playoffs five times in the last seven years since winning the conference championship in 2005, and also won the MAAC Title in 2008. "Fairfield is a good team," Hounsome said. "We played a good game but were not at our best. To beat a team like Fairfield you have to play at your best."
The Stags have seven MAAC Titles, second only to Loyola's nine.
The Broncs have not defeated Fairfield since 2004 and have beaten the Stags just three times in 18 meetings. Fairfield defeated Rider 4-0 in Connecticut last year.
This one came down to the wire.
"We were toe to toe with a team that is supposed to be one of the powers in the conference," Hounsome said. "We want to play Fairfield again, and if we do get that chance that means we are where (the playoffs) we want to be."
Rider returns to Ben Cohen Field Sunday afternoon to host Iona in a 3pm MAAC contest. "We need to forget tonight's game," Hounsome said, "and take care of business on Sunday."