Poughkeepsie, NY — Last Wednesday, Marist looked to clinch the #3 seed in the MAAC Playoffs, all they needed to do was win on the road against #9 seed Canisius, who had only won one game in the MAAC before their fixture. Unfortunately, Marist lost 1-0 and left Buffalo as the #4 seed in their last game of the regular season. Now, with the Red Foxes back at Tenney Stadium, they looked to bounce back in the first round of the MAAC Playoffs against the #5 seed Quinnipiac Bobcats. The two teams met earlier this year on October 2nd where Marist came out victorious 1-0.
However, the beginning of the match did not replicate the start that they had when the two teams first met in Poughkeepsie. Quinnipiac dominated the first 30 minutes of the first half in shots and possession. The shining light for Marist was goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner who managed to keep a clean sheet in that period of time making 5 saves including one incredible diving save made from a 25-yard shot from Quinnipiac’s Markela Beljeri, a midfielder from Toronto, Canada who has been called up to the Albanian National Team this past year.
If there was one team that deserved to get the first goal of the match, it was Quinnipiac. However, Marist found themselves on the counter attack after a corner kick was cleared all the way toward midfield. Forward Victoria Colatosti used her pace to get in behind the last defender and midfielder Kristen Prevosto successfully got the ball past the bobcat defender and sent Colatosti away. It was a 3-on-1 counter attack situation for Marist but Colatosti decided to take it herself and with her weak foot she as placed it perfectly into the bottom right corner of the back of the net.
After dominating possession of the ball, Quinnipiac somehow found themselves behind at halftime even with Marist having only two shots on target.
That goal looked to have dampened the mood for Quinnipiac as Marist looked to be the team to be more in control at the start of the second half. In the 64th minute, Prevosto was continuing in pulling the strings as she found an open Colatosti on the right wing as she smashed the ball in the top left corner for her second goal of the match. But as Marist was celebrating the goal, Quinnipiac took advantage of the opportunity as midfielder Selena Salas caught the Marist defense sleeping and scored after just a minute after Colatosti’s goal to cut the lead to just one.
And just 5 minutes later, Quinnipiac was awarded a free kick just outside the box after a handball and Salas curled it around the wall to get her second goal of the match as there was still 20 minutes remaining for either team to come out on top.
With just 8 minutes left in the match, Quinnipiac completed the comeback with a goal from attacker Gretchen Kron as she nicked it past Kelchner with the slightest of touches off of a low cross from midfielder Ally Grunstein.
Marist tried to tie the game themselves when they fell behind and in the 90th minute, a failed punch from the Quinnipiac keeper gave Colatosti an open net to get her hat trick and to send the match into overtime but she mistimed the kick and went over the bar.
When the final whistle blew as Marist lost by a score of 2-3, the entire Marist team got together to console each other after a heartbreaking loss, but an incredible season. This loss means that it was the final game for 5 Marist seniors including captain Bianca Furci and assist leader Alexa Svensson. “Both of them have been massively integral parts of our program for the past four years,” said coach Leigh Howard after the loss. “I think that when it comes to a voice and a presence on this team, Bianca [Furci] was someone who we could always rely on being a leader and Alexa [Svensson] is someone who was the heart and soul of the team and they will be players we will surely miss.”
The women’s soccer team finish the season with a 8-10-1 overall record and a 5-4-1 record in the MAAC conference.