POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — There was no shortage of fireworks on Saturday night at Tenney Stadium. Not in the sky as the sparks rained down in honor of Family Weekend at Marist, and not on the field as Marist and Rider clashed in their second MAAC games of the seasons. While those in the sky were celebratory, those on the field were in a manner of frustration, as the Red Foxes lost both tonight’s game and their star for the next.
Goals from redshirt Rider junior, Sylvain Coco (37’) and graduate student Elliott Otmani (52’) propelled the Broncs toward a handy trampling of the Red Foxes. With Rider lead defensively by sophomore goalie, Pablo Gatinois, the Foxes’ chances came few and far between.
If only to make matters worse, star sophomore midfielder Allen Gavilanes was issued a straight red card for a tackle late in the second half, which will cause him to miss the next game: a MAAC matchup against Iona.
While consistently finding chances in the first half, the breakthrough never came. The fireworks at the game’s end were loud, but the frustration exuding from the sidelines was deafening.
“Obviously disappointed in the result,” said Marist head coach Matt Viggiano. “We had numerous chances in the first half… honestly should have put them away there. We’ve got to be up 2-0 at the half. It was poor defending on two pretty straightforward set pieces where we gave up goals that we honestly haven’t all year.”
The chances that Viggiano touched on were no myth. With only nine minutes gone, Marist junior midfielder Samad Bounthong sent a free kick from the spot of a foul toward the goal, only to be thwarted by the outstretched gloves of Gatinois. The simple save was one of his seven on the night.
Junior defender Marcus Ginman joined in on the effort as he pushed forward in the 20th minute, setting up Gavilanes for a one-on-one with Gatinois. The keeper collided with Gavilanes and came up cradling the ball as he was able to do all night.
The two goals, both coming within 15 minutes of one another, each seemed to deflate Marist more. In the 37th minute, Otmani found Coco in stride from 30 yards outside Marist’s defensive box, who was able to easily slip it past Marist keeper Ryan Sinnot for the Bronc’s first goal. Their second seemed to define the night for the Red Foxes, as a complacent defense allowed redshirt junior defender Emmanuel Kouma to find Otmani alone, who then powered the ball into the back of the net for a simple goal.
Even a penalty kick opportunity for Gavilanes a mere 26 seconds after Rider’s second was saved, adding to what was already a building frustration on the sidelines. A foul occurred in the box, setting up the reigning MAAC Player of the Year for a much needed chance. It was read all the way, a save that looked like it was pulled out of a video game.
“I think we need to show a little more grit, a little more savvy,” said Viggiano in reference to what his team lacked tonight. “I think in some ways they were a little more savvy tonight, and there were some things that went their way because of that.”
The Red Foxes continue their brief homestand against Iona on October 3. The Gaels come in at 5-3-1 to Marist’s 2-4-2, looking to extend a win streak to two games. All Viggiano can hope for is that his team comes out improved for Wednesday.
“We just have got to be sharper, we’ve got to be sharper in front of goal. We’ve obviously been shut out a few times. We have talented players, we need to score, and we’re going to do that by going back to work.”
Edited by Lily Caffrey-Levine