The Marist men’s soccer team erupted offensively in their 4-0 win over Howard on Saturday night. It marked the first game in 671 days at Tenney Stadium for the Red Foxes.
For the first 20 minutes, Marist controlled the majority of the possession, but they were unable to finish their chances. Marist was quick to regain possession after losing the ball, and their defense was stellar. Graduate student defender Huib Achterkamp and junior defender Antek Sienkiel were excellent for the Red Foxes as they were making timely plays that sparked counterattacks.
“They are high-level defenders, I mean Huib is our captain and leader, and he’s been very good for us,” said Head Coach Matt Viggiano.
The first half intensity picked up in the 24th minute when junior midfielder Stefan Copetti opened the scoring for the Red Foxes on a pass from senior midfielder Skylar Conway. Copetti received the ball in the box, dribbled past the defender, and took a shot that deflected off a Howard defender and into the bottom corner.
“The team got me in good areas, and I got balls in different positions where I could take advantage of the guy I was going up against. I scored a goal, which I’m always happy about, so it went well today,” said Stefan Copetti.
Marist quickly added another in the 29th minute when Copetti took on his defender and fired a shot off of Howard senior goalkeeper Emery Simon, which led to a rebound that freshman forward Richard Morel capitalized on.
“Not to sound arrogant, but we knew we were the better team. It took us a while to break through, but I knew if we kept moving the ball, we would find success,” Viggiano said.
Graduate student midfielder Justin Jamie capped off the first half for the Red Foxes with an unassisted goal. Jamie dribbled past two defenders and fired a strike into the far corner.
Marist controlled the second half and kept possession for the majority of the half. The Red Foxes continued their stellar defense, but they did lose senior goalkeeper Sam Ilin late in the second half after he felt discomfort after kicking the ball. Ilin was replaced by junior goalkeeper Dylan McDermott who kept the clean sheet intact for the Red Foxes.
“He’ll be fine, he had a little knock after he played one of the balls. There is no muscular injury, so we’re happy about that,” Viggiano said.
The Red Foxes added their final goal in the 73rd minute when Achterkamp finished a cross from junior midfielder Joe Mac. The Red Foxes were then able to empty the bench as they preserved their four-goal lead.
“Scoring is always nice, as a little boy you always want to score, but I’m more happy about the 4-0 win in front of the fans,” said Huib Achterkamp.
Marist improves to 3-2 on the season, and they had another clean sheet. The clean sheet is their third of the season, and they are looking to continue this moving forward.
“I think the biggest difference between this team and the 2019 team is that we are committed to attacking as well as defense, and we love getting clean sheets,” Achterkamp said.
“I think we have to stay committed to who we are as a team, if we can put together 90 minutes, we’ll be very good. We just have to keep pushing and getting better,” Viggiano said.
Marist has a quick turnaround as their homestand continues on Tuesday, September 14th when they host New Hampshire.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo credit: Bridget Reilly