Stags Match Best Start in Program History With Win Over Wagner
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The reigning MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year Alex Madden tied a Lessing Field record as she posted her first career hat trick leading the Fairfield University Women's Soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Wagner in Fairfield's home opener. Madden's three scores combined with the first of the season for Julia Kleczkowski helped the Stags improve to 3-0-0 on the season, matching the best start in program history. "I spoke to both of my parents before the game and I said I'd score for them and I did exactly that," Madden said. "I scored for my brother as well. My dad watched this match and it's like two o'clock in the morning there and he would have watched the whole thing. He is going to want to call me after this." Madden would put on a show, not only for her family watching through the NCAA Soccer Facebook page, but also for the home fans as she became the sixth Stag to net a hat trick at Lessing Field and the first since Meghan King in 2003. The Stags (3-0-0) opened up the scoring in the 20th minute when Gabby Diodati, Fairfield's leader in assists last season, poked a through ball towards the top of the box. Kleczkowski was able to control the pass and beat a trio of defenders and put her shot in the back of the net for her second career score. Madden would net her first goal of the game towards the end of the first half when Julia McGuire played a ball into the box that got by the Wagner (0-3-0) goalkeeper and Madden was able to pick it up and convert the chance. While the Stags were leading 2-0 through the first 45 minutes, the story for Fairfield through that span was their defensive unit as they did not allow a Wagner shot for the first 53 minutes of the game. The Stags attempted the first 11 shots of the match including all 10 in the first half. "Obviously good outcomes are going to lead to confident play," Head Coach David Barrett said. "I think it's a reflection of the culture that we're trying to build and I think the team is demonstrating that they are caring for each other and playing hard for each other. They're obviously building on some successes and I think the new players are adding something important for us and I think the returning players have saw some improvements as well." Madden wasted little time in netting her second goal, coming in the first four minutes of the second half. Madden dribbled towards the Wagner net and was able to get past the Seahawks goalkeeper and slide the ball into the empty net. She would complete her hat trick 12 minutes later as Stephanie Tsangariscrossed the ball into the middle of the box where Madden was waiting. The Stags allowed just three Wagner shots on the night, one of those a penalty kick opportunity in the 83rd minute that Peyton Beck put into the top corner, ending Fairfield's 263-minute scoreless streak to begin 2018. Fairfield put 11 of their 19 attempts on target with Madden leading the team with four. Freshman goalkeeper Aytana Muschajew, the reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Week, needed just one save for the Stags. Fairfield will look to become the first Stag team to start a season with four-straight wins when they travel to NJIT on Sunday for a 1pm kickoff.