When head coach Matt Viggiano isn’t happy, you will know why.
Tonight, his team surely knows well and good what they need to work on after falling to the University of Albany 2-1.
Wednesday’s matchup between Marist and Albany was set to the backdrop of a traditional gorgeous Hudson River sunset, and the mood was ripe for a statement win against a strong Albany side.
Despite the strength of their opponents, Marist was the team pushing the pace, as they so often do. Senior midfielder, Samad Bounthong, had a couple of different chances to put his team in front, including a powerful header that forced a tough save out of Great Danes goalkeeper, Isac Hjerten. Hjerten had to make a couple more stops in the first half to keep Marist off the board, and to give Albany the chance they needed.
The deadlock was broken in the 35th minute as, largely against the run of play, Albany defender, Kaio DaSilva, placed a bullet into the top right corner of the Marist net.
The Great Danes took their lead into halftime despite the spirited efforts of the Red Foxes, namely Viggiano’s substitutes. Senior Alex Cancilla, junior Justin Jaime, and sophomore Jacob Schulman all came on multiple times throughout the rest of the game and looked to provide more of a spark in the match.
Viggiano brought in his subs to rotate players and to keep legs fresh, but also to provide an edge to change the game.
“Our guys are very technical players, they want to play a pretty style of soccer, but there’s a difference between winning and losing,” he said, citing the need for his team to play smarter and simpler.
With under 10 minutes to go, the Great Danes found the eventual game-winner off the foot of sophomore, Austin DaSilva, to keep the Red Foxes down.
Marist’s Schulman notched a stellar consolation goal in the 90th minute, placing it inside the far post for a final score of 2-1. It was the first goal of his Red Fox career and Viggiano spoke highly of him after the game. “Jacob’s got good feet, obviously he can hit a ball, you saw it in the second half on the goal,” Viggiano said of his substitute.
There is much to improve on for the Red Foxes, and a change in their mentality is what Viggiano is looking for.
“We talked about taking our chances. And if they’re half chances, taking half chances. [Schulman] saw an opportunity, he shot the ball, and it went in. It’s not that complicated. We gotta stop making it complicated. We, for some reason, are fighting ourselves and fighting me and the staff on that right now,” he said.
A rude awakening may lie ahead for the Red Foxes as they travel to #18, the University of New Hampshire, on Saturday. According to Viggiano, it’s up to his players to buy in together for Marist to stand a chance and reach their potential in 2019.
Edited by Bridget Reilly