Fairfield Heads to Brown University for NCAA First Round

Courtesy:  Fairfield Sports Information
Release:  November 15, 2011
Fairfield goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe
Fairfield goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe
Courtesy: MAAC Sports
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – When the bracket appeared on the NCAA tournament selection show, there was little suspense for the Fairfield University men's soccer team. The Stags were the first bracket revealed and it was clear – the team was headed to Providence to take on Ivy League co-champion Brown University on November 17 at 7 pm.

"This is the third time in six years that we have made the tournament,” Head Coach Carl Rees said. “It's really become what we expect as coaches and the lads expect as competitors. This group worked very hard to get here so it is certainly appreciated.”

Fairfield also went to the tournament in 2006 when it defeated the University of Connecticut in the first round before coming up short against Towson University in round two. In 2008, Fairfield dropped a 1-0 decision to UConn in the opening round. The Stags earned a spot in the NCAA play-in round in 1999 as well.

The Stags certainly have the credentials to play in the tournament, holding the number 34 spot in the RPI ratings and ranking first in the North Atlantic Region. Plus, the team has a 13-game unbeaten streak that started in mid-September. During that stretch, Fairfield owns a 12-0-1 mark which included three wins in the MAAC tournament last weekend.

Senior Jack Burridge earned the MAAC tournament most valuable player award after he scored all three goals in the championship game. Burridge currently ranks third among his teammates with 18 points, registering seven goals and four assists. Jordan Ayris leads the team with 23 points off 10 goals and three assists, while Jon Clements places second with six goals and seven assists for 19 points.

Defensively, the Stags have been as solid as any team in the nation, allowing just 10 goals during the 13-game unbeaten streak. During the stretch, Fairfield posted six shutouts, including four in a row between October 22 and November 4. Goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe, the MAAC defensive player of the year, owns a 1.06 goals against average with five shutouts to his credit. He also has a .760 save percentage with 57 saves against just 18 goals allowed.


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