The Canisius College women's soccer team was unable to overcome a late goal in the first half, as the Golden Griffins fell to MAAC opponent Fairfield, 1-0, at the Demske Sports Complex on Friday evening. Canisius moves to 8-7-3 and 3-3-2 in MAAC play while Fairfield improves to 6-6-5 and 4-2-2 in the MAAC.
For the first 20 minutes of the first half, each team tried to gain control of the game with only two shots recorded in the span, both belonging to the Golden Griffins. In the next 25 minutes, the Golden Griffins would build up a 7-3 shot advantage over the visiting Stags.
In the final seven minutes of the first half, Canisius and Fairfield began to exchange scoring opportunities. On a rush in the 38th minute, freshman midfielder Maria Nelms took a cross from freshman forward Mallory Illsley inside the box with Nelms sending it over the net. Controlling possession in the Fairfield end for the next couple minutes, the Griffs managed to fire off two more shots on net before the Stags went on the offensive.
Fairfield quickly countered in the 40th minute, as midfielder Spenser Allaway stormed into the Griffs' end. Surrounded by three Griffs, Allaway managed to get her shot off from eight yards out with sophomore goalkeeper Megan Tock making the diving save.
Travelling down the middle of the field, midfielder Kasey Schultz pulled up on the Fairfield rush, calming down the rolling ball. With no defender in the vicinity, Schultz sent a lofting ball from 30 yards out over the head of Tock for the Stags' 1-0 lead.
Trailing 1-0 to start the second half, the Golden Griffins tried to fight for the equalizer. Senior Kelly Reinwald had a chance to connect with sophomore midfielder Brianna Smith in the 60th minute on a header however, the two were unable to connect with the ball sailing just high.
On another chance in the second half, freshman forward Megan Mahoney was on the left side as she directed a shot toward the goal with Fairfield goalkeeper Kelly Boudreau making the stop.
"We have had a lot of trouble scoring since the Loyola game," said Canisius head coach Jim Wendling.
Boudreau went on to record a shutout off six saves. Tock recorded three saves in the decision.
In the loss, the Golden Griffins held a 12-8 edge in shots over the Stags. Mahoney led the Griffs with three shots while Schulz led the Stags also with three.
"It was one of our better games this season. We outshot Fairfield and I thought we possessed the ball very well and had a lot of good attack," said Wendling. "We had some good shots, the goalkeeper made some good saves, we had some good corners, it just wasn't our night."
The Golden Griffins close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon versus Iona, with the game time set for 1 p.m. Sunday will mark Senior Day as the Golden Griffins honor the careers of six seniors, including back Kate Sloane, back Christina Franceschi, forward Kelly Reinwald, goalkeeper/midfielder Caroline Robert, back Dina Gabrielli, and midfielder Jenny Griffin.
Notes: Friday's contest served as Breast Cancer Awareness Night with all proceeds raised from tonight's activities donated to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute... In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Night, the Golden Griffins wore pink jerseys, which were auctioned off after the game was over.