POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.—The Red Foxes hosted the Iona Gaels on Saturday for Senior Day. Marist was on top quickly with a 4-1 lead ten minutes into the game. However, the Iona attack found its stride, scoring five unanswered goals to tie the game 7-7 to end the half. The Gaels went on another scoring run in the second half, scoring four consecutive goals to give themselves a 12-9 lead after catching and pulling away from Marist. After a late run, which proved to be too little to late for the Red Foxes, the Iona Gaels defeated Marist 12-11.
Marist got off to a quick start with goals from senior Lauren Mazza, freshman Kelly George and sophomore Samantha Mehalick. Iona answered early with a single goal scored by senior Pamela Giordano. Mazza’s second goal, her 100th career goal, gave Marist a 4-1 lead.
Marist Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Jessica Wilkinson commended the play of the seniors after the game saying, “Our seniors really stepped up today. I know that the three of them really wanted this game to be a win, but at the end of the day they did play their hearts out.”
Junior midfielder Maureen Murphy scored for Iona with 19:14 left in the first half to make the Marist lead 4-2. Marist senior attacker Morgan Jaycox answered the Iona goal with 18:14 left in the half to make the lead three again at 5-2. Mehalick scored her second goal and added to the Marist lead at 6-2 with 15:02 left in the half. Jaycox gave Marist their largest lead of the game with her second goal of the day, assisted by George, to make it 7-2 Marist with 11:11 left in the half.
Graduate student Katelyn Noschese, Giordano, senior Kaitlyn Becker and junior Christine Gironda combined for five consecutively unanswered goals in the last eight minutes of the first half, erasing the Marist lead making it 7-7 at the half.
After a dominant performance by Marist early on, the Gaels almost shocked the Red Foxes to close out the second half. Coach Wilkinson said, “Iona is a strong team. I think we underestimated them a lot coming into this game.”
Mehalick scored her hat trick of the game four minutes into the second half, off an assist from George to open up scoring in the second half to put Marist back in front 8-7. Freshman midfielder Sara Stewart scored for Iona eight minutes into the second half once again tying the game 8-8. Mazza got her hat trick of the game 10 minutes into the second half and put Marist in front 9-8.
“Mazza had a great game. I know she was hoping that some more shots would fall, but she’s gotta keep shooting,” said Wilkinson.
Once again, the Iona Gaels went on a scoring run. This time scoring four unanswered goals from Giordano, Becker, junior attacker Danielle Keenan and freshman midfielder Madi Kochanek. The late game rally gave the Gaels their first lead of the game and passing Marist 12-9 with 11:08 left in the game.
Freshman attacker Devon Connolly scored twice both at 9:03 and 7:54 left in the game to make it 12-11 Iona. Mazza was fouled with six seconds left in the game, but junior goalkeeper Shannon McCaffrey stopped Mazza’s shot and a rebound shot to end the game. Iona successfully secured the come from behind win over Marist with the final score of 12-11.
Marist played well, especially on the offensive side. “I think we did have some spurts of greatness, but we weren’t really able to hold on,” said Coach Wilkinson about the offensive unit. Wilkinson went on to comment about the several turnovers in the last five minutes of the game saying, “A few mistakes here and there caught us on the back end of the game.”
Iona improves to 8-8 on their season as Marist falls to 9-6. With this loss and their win over Fairfield on April 14, Marist enters a five-way tie at the top in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with Fairfield, Canisius, Niagara and Monmouth.
When told that Marist was in a five-way tie for first Coach Wilkinson replied, “Are we in that?”
After her moment of surprise she said, “Things have changed a little bit. We just gotta do what we know how to do and play our game.”
Marist will travel to Siena College on April 25 to play the last regular season game, which will prove pivotal to the Red Fox’s season and the race at the top.