The Marist women’s soccer team used a strong start and elite defense in their 2-0 win over Monmouth on Wednesday afternoon. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Red Foxes.
“Honestly, I don’t think any of us were really nervous heading into this game, we were confident and excited because we have a strong team, and we work together well,” said senior forward Victoria Colatosti.
Marist jumped out to a fast start, applying pressure on the Monmouth defense. Marist senior forward Kaylin Sperley and Colatosti were inserted into the starting lineup, and they made an instant impact on offense and defense. The Red Foxes struck in the sixth minute when Colatosti finished a cross from Sperley. Marist maintained possession and had wonderful buildup play as junior forward Brooke Cergol played a through ball to Sperley, who took the ball up the line and fired a cross to Colatosti. The senior got in front of her defender and fired a shot into the back of the net.
“I think that for both of them coming out of last game, they have done a phenomenal job and they have taken advantage of their opportunity, which has led to our success,” said Marist Head Coach Brittany Kolmel.
“I think getting a goal last game pushed me, and I’ve been in my head lately. Today, I think our team needed that early goal, and it took the pressure off of us,” said Colatosti.
The Red Foxes’ defense was stellar in the first half, pressing the Monmouth backline. Marist’s forwards were quickly winning the ball back, and sophomore midfielder Chance Hendricks was excellent in the middle of the field. Monmouth struggled to find quality chances in the first half, and they only registered two shots on goal. Monmouth’s best chance of the half was in the 26th minute when senior forward Lauren Karabin had a header off the crossbar. Marist’s senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner had a relatively quiet half with two easy saves.
“Coming out of a bye weekend, we were able to give them tactical information that we wanted to execute, and they were able to do that. Our girls did a phenomenal job playing to their strengths,” said Kolmel.
Monmouth started the second half strong as they were maintaining the majority of the possession. The Red Foxes continued their stellar defense in the second half, not allowing Monmouth to have any quality chances. Kelchner was excellent in the second half for Marist and she had an excellent save in the 61st minute on a header from Monmouth sophomore defender Lauren Bruno.
Marist took advantage of Monmouth’s offensive struggles in the 64th minute when sophomore midfielder Amanda Caldarelli scored an unassisted goal. Caldarelli won the ball in the middle of the field and dribbled past a couple of defenders before firing a shot from outside the box that went over the outstretched arms of Monmouth sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Winslow. Caldarelli now has a team-high 4 goals this season.
“I think just feeding off of the other girls on the field is important for me and when I get the opportunity, I want to put the ball in the back of the net,” said Caldarelli.
The Red Foxes closed the game out with stellar defense, making timely plays. Kelchner also finished the game strong as she saved a shot from Monmouth senior forward Jesi Rosman in the 88th minute. Kelchner finished with eight saves, and she continues to be a key component of Marist’s success. The Red Foxes closed the game out and secured their statement win of the season.
“I think that this is a statement win for us, we’ve talked about peaking, and this is the time that we have to go,” said Kolmel.
Marist improves to 5-5-2 on the season, and this is their biggest win of the season. The Red Foxes victory is important as Monmouth is in first place in the MAAC standings. Marist’s victory gives Monmouth their first conference loss of the season, and it’s only the Red Foxes’ second win over Monmouth since 2013. The team is confident in themselves, and they feel that they are starting to peak at the right time.
“I think all season long we’ve been in every game, and it’s about the character that we show. Now it is going to start coming into effect, and we’ll see where it goes from here,” said Kolmel.
“I think we are definitely peaking at the right time, we struggled a little bit the first half of the season, but we are finally coming into ourselves and just gaining confidence one game at a time,” said Colatosti.
Marist will be back in action on Saturday, October 23, when they travel to Manhattan to take on the Jaspers at 4 p.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Bridget Reilly