Trojan boys shut out Keokuk on senior night
The race for the Southeast Conference crown is far from over, and the Fairfield boys are doing their best to ensure it goes down to the wire.
In front of a home crowd and on senior night, the Trojan boys kept the defending SEC champ Chiefs silent and supplied just enough of their own offense to claim a 1-0 victory. The Trojans scored their one goal within the game’s first 10 minutes and silenced Keokuk (5-5, 4-3 SEC) the rest of the way.
The impressive win was a much-needed one for the Trojans, who are currently 8-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference; Mount Pleasant is tied with Fairfield for the conference lead.
“It was awesome to win at home in front of the parents and friends on senior night,” Fairfield head coach Felisto Guezimane said. “It means a lot to [the seniors] and to me as well. We wanted to win this game at home especially for them.”
In fact, the Trojans had plenty of reasons to get up for this game. Not only was it their final home game of the regular season, but it pitted them against a rival that ended Fairfield’s season in 2011 and won both the teams’ meetings in 2012.
Mason Carnahan, a Fairfield senior, knows that history well.
“They’ve beat us out of the playoffs a couple times ... so it was fun to take it to them,” said Carnahan.
“It’s always sweet to beat Keokuk. I won’t lie,” Guezimane added with a laugh. “There’s always a little extra by beating Keokuk.”
Carnahan, as well as several other seniors, led the Trojans’ shutout effort. Time and time again, Carnahan and Nathan Barker turned away the Chiefs’ offensive attacks. When the Chiefs did break through Fairfield’s backfield, first-year goalkeeper Spencer Peterman made the saves, including his biggest of the night on a penalty kick with 11:30 remaining.
“Peterman had an awesome game, and Mason and Nathan in the back really held on,” said Guezimane. “Mason, to me, was the player of the game because he really hustled up tonight.”
But on a night designated to celebrate the seniors, a pair of younger players helped make the only dent offensively. Just 10 minutes into the game, junior Austin Lauderman passed off an assist to freshman Solomon Constant, who found the back of the net on just one touch.
“We started very strong. The players were mentally ready for this game, and that’s something we’ve been working on,” Guezimane said.
For the game, senior Roan Bachar had five shots on goal and Constant had two. Peterman totaled seven saves.
Carnahan seemed to speak for all his senior teammates when he expressed how he felt Monday following the win.
“It’s bittersweet but it’s good to go out on a win,” Carnahan said. “I’m going to miss playing soccer here. It’s been a good four years.”
The Trojans also rolled in JV action, where they picked up a 4-1 win. Seth Davisson, Solomon Maselli, Derek Robinson and Constant each scored once.
The Trojans face Fort Madison Thursday and will visit Keokuk Friday in arguably the most important game to date.