POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.— A warm October night saw the Red Foxes come up against the Monmouth Hawks (11-3-1, 6-1 MAAC), a fight between first and second on the MAAC table. Tonight was slightly different, though, as Marist players and coaches alike wore pink tops for their pink game, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It would end sour, as Monmouth asserted their current conference prowess, winning 1-0.
Monmouth, whom were projected to finish atop the table prior to the start of the season, was fixed to be a difficult opponent from the first whistle. Jessica Johnson, their MAAC All-American defender and captain, was the primary threat coming into the game.
The first big chance of the match came from Monmouth in the 14th minute. After a free kick was given in response to a foul on Marist captain and defender Bianca Furci, two Monmouth attackers ran past the ball and the third free kick taker, Jessica Johnson, then put the ball into the top corner past Abigail Renaud.
Marist’s first and only chance to level it up before halftime came in the 28th minute, where a lovely switch of play from sophomore Jillian Colucci went to junior winger Keri Bradley. The effort was thwarted by the right back from Monmouth, who tracked the ball well and cleared it away for a corner.
A mere minute after that attack, the Monmouth striker tried to curl it into the bottom right corner, but Renaud was first to it making one of four saves on the evening and preventing the Hawks from doubling their lead.
Minutes before the halftime whistle, you could feel Tenney Stadium utter a collective, subtle gasp. A Monmouth defender and Keri Bradley simultaneously went in for a sliding tackle near the Marist bench, a play that saw Bradley come away limping. For the remainder of the half, she was subbed off for freshman Kaylin Sperley.
The second half began and Bradley returned, quickly putting in a teasing ball to Colucci, but her header was saved by the Monmouth keeper. The chance would be close to the lone opportunity for Marist to come level, as the night ends in disappointment. The Red Foxes drop to 6-6-1 overall and 4-2-0 in conference play.
“The team should be proud of their performance,” said Head Coach Leigh Howard. Howard said they showed a “blue-collar mentality on defense” in the match.
Marist’s next match is against Manhattan College on October 13 in Riverdale, N.Y.
Edited by Will Bjarnar