The Marist women’s soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Siena on Saturday night, spoiling the celebration of Marist’s ten seniors. The seniors were honored along with their families in a ceremony before the game.
“This game meant everything to us, we’ve come a long way as seniors, and we wanted to win it for our family and friends who were supporting us,” said senior forward Kaylin Sperley.
“I think they’ve done a phenomenal job of being leaders, and I think leading by example is important, and all ten of them have done that,” said Head Coach Brittany Kolmel.
The first half saw Siena jump out to a fast start, as they were applying pressure on the Marist defense. After surviving the first wave of attack, Marist replaced the ten starting seniors with their regular starters. The ten seniors starting was a special moment as it was their last time on the field as a collective unit.
“That moment meant so much to every single one of us out there, we’ve worked so hard for this moment, and it meant the absolute world to us,” said Sperley.
Marist quickly took back control of the game, creating chances offensively. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Caldarelli had the first chance of the game for the Red Foxes when her shot went wide of the net in the 15th minute. Marist created another quality chance in the 24th minute when senior forward Victoria Colatosti played a cross to junior forward Brooke Cergol, who fired a shot over the net.
Colatosti was excellent for the Red Foxes in the first half as she was tracking back on defense and making plays on offense. The Red Foxes’ defense was led by junior defender Samantha Sturno. She made timely defensive plays, leading the offensive attack. Marist’s defense was tested in the first half as Siena had nine shots.
Siena’s best chance of the half came in the 34th minute when graduate student forward Jayanna Monds fired a shot from outside the box that forced a save from Marist’s senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner. Both teams were able to create chances, but neither found the back of the net in the first half.
“The hardest thing in soccer is being able to finish and score, but that’s something we have to work on moving forward,” said Kolmel.
Siena controlled the majority of the possession in the second half, and they produced quality chances early in the half. In the 61st minute, junior forward Caitlin Wania played in a cross to senior midfielder Emily McNelis who forced a save from Kelchner with a bouncing header. Siena continued applying pressure on the Marist backline as they finished with 21 shots. Siena came close to the game’s first goal in the 82nd minute when Monds fired a shot inside the six-yard box that forced a kick save from Kelchner.
Thirty seconds later, senior forward Ashleigh Sarafin scored for Siena with a header. Junior forward Katrina Kurtz played in a cross that found an unmarked Sarafin for an open header past the outstretched arms of Kelchner. The set-piece goal was much to the dismay of Marist Head Coach Brittany Kolmel.
“It’s tough, we said we don’t want to allow set pieces, we knew that they were hungry on set pieces, and they can be dangerous, so it’s unfortunate,” said Kolmel.
Marist did not quit in the final ten minutes as they continued to push for an equalizer. The Red Foxes almost tied the game in the 84th minute when Cergol fired a shot inside the box that Siena’s Brooke Boermeester saved on the line. Two minutes later, Boermeester made another big save on a header from Marist’s sophomore forward Grace DiVincenzo. The Red Foxes couldn’t grab an equalizer as Siena secured the win.
“I think some days you just have those days, some days you’re on fire, and some days you just can’t get any chance to go. We’ll work on that, and we’ll be ready for the next game,” said Sperley.
The Red Foxes now fall to 4-4-2, and they are now 3-2-1 in MAAC play. The loss is the second in three games for Marist. Despite the loss, Marist still has yet to allow more than one goal in a game this season. The Red Foxes continue to show faith in each other as they still sit in third place in the MAAC standings.
“It’s tough, but the competitive side of us has to kick in, it’s a time where you have to refocus and feel that emotion, so we can take that into training on Monday,” said Kolmel.
Marist heads back on the road as they travel to New Jersey to face Rider on Wednesday, October 13 at 7 p.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Bridget Reilly