POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – MAAC Rookie of the Week, Skylar Conway, was once again the star of the show as the Red Foxes took down Manhattan College 2-1. With just four games left to get themselves in prime position for a home playoff game, Head Coach Matt Viggiano acknowledged the gravity of Saturday’s comeback victory.
“The goal is to have a bye or have a home game… You get to 5-1 and you start talking about some things that you want to talk about in the beginning of the year,” Viggiano said. Even though there is a lot to look forward to while tied for first in the conference with Fairfield, he knows his team needs to take it one game at a time.
The next two games for the Red Foxes are away to Canisius and then Fairfield, whom they currently share first place in the MAAC with.
Conway has been one of the most important players in this team’s journey to the top of the standings. In two come-from-behind wins in three days, Conway has produced the game-winning assist twice and scored a tying goal.
Saturday’s goals were particularly special to watch. Conway put Marist on the board in the 58th minute, finding an errant pass, charging through the Jaspers’ defense and finishing it off the inside of the far post. Junior Samad Bounthong was played into the box from a sensational Conway pass, and he deposited it into the side netting for the clincher in the 78th minute.
Despite the win, an area of concern for the Red Foxes this season has been poor starts. Conway said coach Viggiano preaches “work-rate” in the locker room. Going into halftime down 1-0 is the position this team has been in twice in a row, and both times they were able to come together and grab three points.
“If you grind it, you can come back from it,” Conway explained. That mentality will prove critical down the stretch, as the 5-1 Red Foxes are now locked in a dogfight atop the MAAC standings. The toughness they have shown in the past two matchups may just push Marist towards the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the season.
Not so long ago, Viggiano was talking about his team needing to decide if they were all in or not for this season. Riding a four-game winning streak into possibly the toughest part of the schedule, his players have bought in and are contenders for first place in the MAAC.