The Marist women’s soccer team’s offense came alive in the second half of their 2-1 win against Saint Peter’s on Sunday afternoon. The victory is Marist’s first in the MAAC this season.
The Red Foxes controlled the first half as they maintained possession for the majority of the half. Marist’s defense was stellar in the first half, shutting down Saint Peter’s offense. Graduate student defender Deanna Lomino and senior defender Riley Abate were excellent in the first half as they were making timely plays, thus making it a quiet half for senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner. Marist’s keeper was recently named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week following her 11 save performance against Fairfield.
“I think it’s the training we have and the players and mentality we have that contributes to our defense,” said Head Coach Brittany Kolmel.
Marist’s offense was able to produce some quality chances in the first half as they were applying pressure on Saint Peter’s freshmen goalkeeper Annabelle Adams. In the 18th-minute, sophomore midfielder Bridget Dudziec fired a shot that forced Adams to make a diving save. Dudziec added another shot in the 33rd minute, forcing Adams into a save. Adams made five saves in the first half.
Sophomore midfielder Chance Hendricks led the offensive attack for the Red Foxes, and she continuously won the ball back in the middle of the field. However, the Red Foxes were unable to find the back of the net in the first half. Saint Peter’s best chance of the half came in the 40th minute when senior midfielder Stephanie Radakovic fired a shot wide of the net. Both teams headed into the locker room scoreless at the half.
“Chance did a good job of being able to sit in there for us defensively,” Kolmel said.
Saint Peter’s came out firing to start the second half as senior defender Brooke Boutchie fired a free-kick off the crossbar in the 47th minute. Later in the second half, sophomore midfielder Amanda Caldarelli erupted for two goals in three minutes for the Red Foxes. In the 61st minute, senior forward Kaylin Sperley crossed the ball to Dudziec who played a pass to Caldarelli who took a touch and fired a shot into the far corner over the outstretched arms of Adams. Two minutes later, Dudziec once again found Caldarelli outside the box and Caldarelli fired a strike into the top corner from outside the box.
“I think Bridget and Amanda have a great connection, they are magnets and they can kind of feed off each other,” Kolmel said.
“It felt good, I feel like we’ve had trouble putting the ball in the net, and the fact that we were able to execute what we’ve been working on all week was good,” said Caldarelli.
Caldarelli and Dudziec are starting to form an excellent connection this season, and they are happy to be playing together.
“We are friends off the field, and it really shows on the field as well because we have a strong connection,” said Dudziec.
Saint Peter’s responded in the 78th minute when freshmen defender Carlota Pastor Romero finished a cross from junior midfielder Madison Greenberg. Greenberg sent in a cross on a free-kick, and Romero beat her defender to the ball for the tap-in. The Red Foxes were able to close the game out with solid defense as they secured their first conference win of the season.
Marist improves to 2-2-2 on the season, and they are now 1-0-1 in MAAC play. The Red Foxes have still yet to allow more than one goal in a game this season, and they remain unbeaten at home. They have also won 15 of the last 17 matchups against Saint Peter’s.
The Red Foxes will have a quick turnaround as they play the final game of their three game homestand against Canisius on Wednesday, September 29th at 1 p.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Bridget Reilly