On a warm afternoon at Tenney Stadium, Marist had their defense to thank as they kept a clean sheet to defeat Canisius 1-0 in their third game in the MAAC Conference. Sophomore midfielder Chance Hendricks was the only goal scorer of the afternoon as Marist claimed the victory at home.
Canisius’ first entry into Marist’s box was cut out by graduate student defender Deanna Lomino, who closed down the attacker to make any shot on goal impossible.
Being on the front foot in the opening 10 minutes, Canisius would have the first shot on goal via senior defender Emily Dorr, but Marist’s senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner came up equal and kept the score at 0-0.
Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Marist had been trying to attack via the wings, playing out of the back to either one of the fullbacks, who would then play a 1-2 with the winger on their side and carry on their run through the opposition half, but Canisius would only concede a blocked shot inside their box in the first 15 minutes against Marist’s attack.
“We want to be able to try and isolate numbers on the outside of the field,” said Marist head coach Brittanny Komel. “Just working through the patterns of play we run in training and then focusing on being able to commit and find those isolations.”
Marist drew first blood in the 23rd minute from a corner kick when Hendricks got on the end of an out-swinging cross from freshman midfielder Autumn Smith. Hendricks’ first time finish was the first of her collegiate career.
“It was pretty quick, usually with a corner I try to find my head with it.” said the goalscorer. “It landed to my foot and I decided to poke it through, I saw it coming in because the kick moved right in front of me.”
The Red Foxes nearly had a second when a floated cross found the head of forward Brooke Cergol, but the junior glanced her header just wide of the post.
The offensive pressure kept coming from Marist, their fourth corner of the first half was cleared out to junior defender Samantha Sturno whose long-range effort nearly caught Canisius’ goalkeeper off her line, but Canisius sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Jones got back in time to tip it over the bar.
At halftime, Marist found themselves on top 1-0, leading in possession 57 perfect – 43 percent. Impressively, 27 percent of Marist’s possession was in Canisius’ final third, while only 11 percent of the visitor’s possession was in Marist’s final third. Two of Marist’s four shots were on target, while Canisius only had two shots in total with one on target.
The first action of the second half came, once again, after Marist utilized the width of the field when sophomore forward Grace DiVincenzo cut in from the right-wing and fired a curling effort which nearly found the bottom corner, but Jones got across to it and forced a corner.
For Canisius, the second half was all the same, a continuation of disjointed attacks with the majority of the pass attempts in Marist’s final third failing to find their target. The midfield pivot of goalscorer Hendricks, sophomore Amanda Caldarelli held firm in protecting their defensive line.
In the 70th minute, Cergol fired a long-range volley toward the visitors’ goal, but her effort was denied by a diving stop from Jones.
Canisius nearly had an equalizer when their top scorer, sophomore forward Tiani Fonoti, lined up a free-kick attempt just outside Marist’s penalty area, but Kelchner rose up to tip it over the bar.
Marist held on to claim the victory at home behind a defensive effort that saw Canisius have nine shots with four on target, but with many of them coming from outside the box. Marist had nine shots with five on target and utilized the wings to maintain possession and keep the pressure on Canisius.
Marist’s second win in a row ended a home stretch where they hosted all of their three opening MAAC conference games. “I think beginning of conference play we’re fortunate that we’ve been able to start at home,” said Komel. “Credit to our team that we took advantage of that, now we have to go on the road but it’s been a great start to conference play.”
For their fourth game in the MAAC conference, Marist (3-2-2) will travel to Connecticut to play Quinnipiac (6-2) on Saturday, October 2nd at noon.
Edited by Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Bridget Reilly