The Marist women’s soccer team lost their final game of the season 3-1 to Niagara on Wednesday, thus locking in their spot in the MAAC tournament as the seventh seed. The Red Foxes ultimately finished the season by drawing a tie with Manhattan and a loss to Niagara.
The Red Foxes were an elite defensive team this season, and they produced quality results as they posted a 5-6-3 record and a conference record of 4-4-2. Marist’s defense, led by junior defender Samantha Sturno and graduate student defender Deanna Lomino, only allowed more than one goal in a game twice all season. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner also tallied four shutouts and 88 saves for the Red Foxes.
Marist’s signature win this season was against the first place and number one seed Monmouth Hawks. The 2-0 win was important, as it was Monmouth’s first conference loss of the season. The Red Foxes received goals from senior forward Victoria Colatosti and sophomore midfielder Amanda Caldarelli. Despite finishing seventh in the MAAC, Marist has proven they can compete with the top teams in the conference. The Red Foxes only lost 1-0 in double overtime to Quinnipiac, who they will face in the quarterfinals of the MAAC tournament.
The keys to Marist winning against Quinnipiac and ultimately winning the tournament is to continue to put together shutouts defensively, score more goals offensively, and overcome their road woes. The Red Foxes also need to continuously shut down opponents’ offenses, and it starts with Sturno and Lomino. If they can continue to anchor the defense and make plays, the Red Foxes will be set up for success. Also, Marist needs Kelchner to play at a high level in the tournament because she can keep the team alive in games. Kelchner has been great for the Red Foxes this season, and she has been named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season.
The Marist offense needs to produce more goals if the Red Foxes are going to make a run in the MAAC tournament, as they have been shut out four times this season and the most goals they have scored in a game are two. Marist will need Caldarelli, Colatosti, and junior forward Brooke Cergol to step up in the tournament, as that trio has been their go-to offensive players. Caldarelli has a team-high four goals, Colatosti has two goals in her last four games and Cergol has contributed two goals.
The Red Foxes also need to improve on the road, as they have only won one game away from Tenney Stadium. For the Red Foxes to win the tournament, they are going to have to win every game on the road, starting with Quinnipiac.
Marist kicks off the MAAC tournament on Sunday when they travel to Connecticut for a quarterfinal matchup against Quinnipiac at noon.
Edited by Bridget Reilly & Connor Kurpat
Photo from Marist Athletics