POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The Marist Women’s Soccer Team played their final MAAC matchup against Fairfield on Wednesday night as they looked to finish above Siena in the table.
Coach Howard announced before the game that wingers Kristen Reilly and Keri Bradley are both out for the rest of the season after tearing their ACL. Co-captain Bianca Furci was out for tonight’s match but Howard is hopeful that she returns for the postseason.
The first half was very quiet from both teams as there were not any clear-cut chances. The best chance of the first half came from a cross into Kaylin Sperley who put a half-volley into the side netting of the Stags goal.
Both teams were very compact defensively, especially Marist as whenever the Stags had a shot on target there was always a defender in front of the shot which made it easier for the keeper to deal with. On the other hand, whenever Marist went on the attack, they struggled to get multiple passes together which led to Fairfield intercepting the ball in the midfield very easily.
The brightest spark for the Red Foxes so far in the half has been freshman Kristen Provesto who has both been switching the play really well and winning tackles in the defensive third.
However, 10 minutes into the second half, good patience by forward Jillian Colucci plays a nice through ball to Sperley who carries the ball herself and completely splits the defense with a perfectly weighted ball to freshman Victoria Colatosti. She gets the ball and makes no mistake as she pushes the ball into the Fairfield box; she beats the keeper with a nice touch to her left foot and puts it away in an empty net.
Colatosti looked dangerous throughout the entire second half as she used her pace to get past the Stags’ right fullback again but her shot to the near post was saved by the Fairfield keeper, which was her first and only save of the match.
The second half was all Marist but there was a point in the game with eight minutes left where Sara Plowman for the Stags goes down in the penalty area of the Red Foxes. The Fairfield bench was shouting for a penalty but the referee let play go on.
Fairfield tried to squeeze in one last attack at the end as right back Katey Samarro was beaten on the left wing and a teasing cross was put into the box but no one was able to get a touch to it to tie the game.
This 1-0 win for the Marist gives the team lots of momentum going into the MAAC tournament and after clinching the second seed; it gives the team a first-round bye and an easier path to the final.
“I’m really proud of the girls. It was really important for us to win this game tonight heading into the playoffs next week”, Howard explained. “The defense did really well confronting the ball and it was a great goal from Victoria tonight. It was great movement from the entire team”
Captain and senior defender Alexis Prisco described this year’s team as “We are more of a family than we’ve ever been. The connection off the field is really showing on the field.”
The first round of the MAAC playoffs starts on Sunday, October 28th but since Marist have finished in the top four, they will have an extra day’s rest and play on Monday, October 29th.
Edited by Marco Schaden