The dark grey clouds that rolled over the Hudson Valley on Saturday couldn’t stop the Red Foxes. Marist defeated the Manhattan College Jaspers 3-0, giving them a two-game win streak as they prepare for a crucial week ahead.
The win improves Marist’s record to 7-6-1 overall and 4-2-0 in the MAAC. The Jaspers are now 2-7-2 and remain winless in conference play.
“Going in, we thought if we played to our capabilities, we would come out on top,” said head coach Matt Viggiano. “When our group does what we ask them to do, they’re very good, and tonight it was evident that we got the deserved result.”
The game started with a quick pace, thanks to the rain and wet turf putting a little extra zip on the ball. Marist was on the attack for most of the half, earning their first corner 90 seconds into the match.
The first shot attempt came in the 12th minute when Marist junior midfielder Stefan Copetti fired just wide.
A minute later, Red Fox senior midfielder Skylar Conway tried to break free from Manhattan freshman defender Omar Torres just outside the box, drawing a foul. Conway would stay down and need to be subbed off, seemingly favoring his left leg. Graduate student midfielder Kyle Galloway would take the free-kick, curling it around the wall but Jaspers junior goalkeeper Hunter Kochiss would fall on top of it for the routine save.
“I think he’s going to be alright,” said Viggiano after the game.
The game would continue to move quickly, with both teams fighting for clear chances, leading to seven fouls through the first 20 minutes of play.
Marist got their first big chance of the night at the half-hour mark when freshman forward Richard Morel played the ball across the box, finding freshman defender Andre Culter-DeJesus at the back post, but Kochiss robbed him.
The Red Foxes would end the half-leading Manhattan 12-2 in shots. The first half saw several chances but neither team was able to find a goal.
“The end of the first half was 0-0, so coach just kept us calm and confident at halftime in his speech, and we came out firing,” said Copetti
As soon as play restarted, the pace had picked up, and both teams looked determined to break the deadlock.
Marist would find their answer when Copetti got played in by his attacking partner Morel, firing the ball from the right side of the box and scoring just inside the left post to give the Red Foxes the 1-0 lead. In his seventh straight game with a goal, Copetti extended his points streak to 10 games.
“It’s definitely giving me a lot of confidence,” said Copetti, acknowledging the streak. “Whatever I can do to help out the team, I’ll do. I got us going early in the second half, and we kept the momentum going.”
It wouldn’t take long for Marist to double their lead when junior midfielder Henrique Cruz moved the ball to sophomore midfielder Justin Rodriguez. Kochiss stopped Rodriguez’s shot, but Galloway jumped on the rebound, putting the Red Foxes up 2-0 in the 61st minute.
Both teams were playing with much more pace and urgency than they had in the first half.
The Jaspers’ only shot on goal came in the 75th minute when freshman defender Noah Boyce received a through ball from freshman forward Yasin Choukri, putting him in alone on goal. But Ilin was ready when asked to make his first big save of the night.
Marist had the last word of the night three minutes later when LaTorre’s shot hit the post, but graduate student defender Huib Achterkamp was there to knock home the rebound.
Marist has a tough challenge ahead of them as they will go to first place Monmouth University (5-0-0 in MAAC play) on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 P.M.
“They’re going to be a tough team,” said Copetti. “They’ve got some talented players, but we can match their talent, and no doubt we can take them down.”
“Obviously, we want to try and get as high a seed as possible,” said Viggiano. “We talked about it in the beginning of the year; we want to bring a championship to Poughkeepsie. That’s always the goal.”
The next time the Red Foxes take their home turf, they will be honoring their seniors and graduate students in their final home game on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 4 P.M. against Niagara University.
Edited by Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Bridget Reilly