Although Fairfield can?t officially claim the boys? Southeast Conference soccer title until next Thursday, May 3, at the earliest when Washington hosts Keokuk, the Trojans eliminated everyone except the Demons from contention with a 2-0 home shutout over second-place Mt. Pleasant.
The game was anything but a blowout, with the Trojans outshooting the Panthers early and often, but failing to put a score on the board.
?I think it was us completely,? admitted senior Chaysten Titus after the win.
?We weren?t there mentally yet and it took us a half to click. Sometimes we get rusty in the first half, but I?m glad we put it away in the second half.?
The Trojans took the lead midway through the second half when Titus tricked the Panther keeper for his team-leading 13th goal.
?The goalkeeper was a little blind, so I just took one touch to the right and sent it to the left side,? smiled the senior.
?I was pretty thrilled it went in.?
The stake in Mt. Pleasant?s heart came inside of the final 20 minutes when another Trojan senior with an affinity for finding a lane to the net, Shawn Spurrier, found the back of it to demoralize the visiting team.
?We were still trying to move the ball, get it into the corner and then make a cross,? said Mt. Pleasant Head Coach Neil Schmitz. ?But Fairfield has that big centerback(senior Kolten Webber) and you just can?t go down the middle against him, he?s too good. Too tall and too strong.?
For the Trojans leader, Felisto Guezimane, it seemed obvious what happened to his squad during the first 60 minutes of the contest.
?The players were nervous and so I told them at halftime to just relax and play our game,? the coach correctly concluded. ?I think they were playing not to lose instead of playing to win, and once we scored the first goal, the players relaxed and we knew, ?We got this,? and then we just kept pushing and had them on the ropes.?
While the offense created opportunites and then capitalized on them, the defense was strong alongside Webber.
?The defense did a lot,? witnessed senior goalkeep Brendon Lunsford from his spot between the posts. ?I only had to make two or three saves total,(He made two) so the defense held their wall really well. Shoutout to the defense.?
While the Trojans three-game winning streak over the last week has improved their record to 7-4 overall with a roadtrip to Iowa Mennonnite Saturday, they are also having fun on the field, especially the seniors.
?Being a senior is fun,? boasts Titus. ?You get to have more power. *chuckles* We have a good group of seniors and I?ve played with Shawn [Spurrier] and Jordan [Guezimane] my whole life, so we have a solid connection as a team.
While a strong connection is great for team chemistry, confidence is also important with Guezimane?s gaining strength.
?The players are starting to buy into it. Every win counts and they?re starting to believe in themselves and believe in each other and it?s a great feeling. They?re really starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel because we can do it.?