By Tim Kiernan
Special to GameTimeCT
FAIRFIELD — Last year, led by their All-American senior goalie Will Steiner, the Fairfield Prep soccer team advanced to the Class LL state final for the first time in the history of the program.
Steiner was both a major physical and mental threat to opponents across the state with his unmatched talent in the net and an equally valuable penchant for jawing with opposing strikers in big game situations.
Along with a few other notable seniors, such as Davie Bruton, Patrick Connelly, and Tim Frassetto, Steiner was an important leader on the team.
Now, with the superstar gone and playing at Villanova, the Jesuits have been left with a considerable void to fill at the keeper position.
The team however, is convinced they’ve found their answer, or maybe answers in three underclassmen.
Danny Szabo, Chris Mackay and Mike Meszaros (freshman, freshman, sophomore respectively) competed for the spot all preseason.
With all three new to the program and two of them new to high school all together, the young keepers have big shoes to fill and the entire town will be watching to see which of them, if any, can compare to Prep’s former great, Steiner.
It’s been a good start though as Prep has posted a 2-0 record to kickoff the 2013 season, with the Jesuits giving Szabo the nod in net both games.
“He’s developed rapidly since preseason,” senior defenseman, Tucker Gavey said. “Our defense is getting more and more confident with him behind us and if he keeps up his progression he’ll be a major asset to our team.”
They’ve fared well with Szabo in net so far, but as the season progresses it will be interesting to see if any changes are made. At least for now, the cumbersome pressure of following in the footsteps of a giant falls on Szabo.
“It’s hard taking the place of someone like (Steiner), but I put most of the pressure on myself,” Szabo said.
As of now, he seems to be handling it well with two wins under his belt against both Newtown and Daniel Hand.
“I’d say the biggest thing for him is going to be to play with confidence and to enjoy it,” Steiner said. “(He shouldn’t) over think things on the field, just go out and have fun and be confident in his abilities because as a freshman, he still has a lot to learn so it’s not going to be perfect right away.”
Steiner even said that Prep’s young keeper has reached out to him a few times. However, he wasn’t willing to divulge what the two discussed. We may never know what the two shared “goalie-to-goalie”, but the Prep coaching staff shouldn’t won’t mind hearing that the legend of their prestigious past is mingling with the prize of their hopefully prodigious future.