The Red Foxes finished the season with a 12-6-3 overall record and a 7-2-1 conference record. Marist has not lost since nine games ago on Oct. 9 (8-0-1) when they lost to Saint Peter’s.
In that span, the Red Foxes have scored 19 goals and conceded seven, including five clean sheets in those nine games, which includes playoffs.
The Red Foxes’ biggest win came against Howard on Sept. 11 when they won 4-0 at home. The team’s biggest loss came against Cornell on Sept. 25 when they fell 1-5 on the road.
Marist also ended up losing a narrow game at home 2-1 to then ninth ranked New Hampshire, who earned the 16th seed and a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament.
Statistically speaking, the Red Foxes ranked second in the MAAC in goals scored with 36 (1.714 goals per game), only behind Rider’s 40 goals.
They also had the most shots and corners out of every team in the MAAC with 342 shots, almost 80 more than the next closest team, along with 132 corners, which is 31 more corners than the next team.
They also ranked second in goals conceded with 23, coming in second to Monmouth’s 21 goals conceded. They also led the MAAC in shutouts with nine.
As for Providence, they finished the season with a 10-4-4 record (5-2-3 conference), placing them second in the Big East behind Georgetown.
Their best stretch of game was when they went on a nine-game unbeaten streak from Sept. 6 to Oct. 13 (6-0-3). In that stretch, they scored 20 goals and conceded nine.
The Friars’ biggest win of the season came Saint Peter’s with a 6-2 win at home. On the other side, in every loss Providence suffered, they lost by a single goal, which all ended 2-1 away from home. The Friars are competitive in every game, including the ones they lose.
Providence also defeated conference rival and then first-ranked Georgetown 3-0, who are now the seventh seed in the NCAA Tournament.
On the statistical side, Providence led the Big East in goals scored in 37 and in goals per game with 2.06. They were also second in shots with 262 shots. Defensively, the Friars were tied for fifth in the conference in goals conceded with 20 and fourth in shutouts with six.
The Game that Decided their NCAA Tournament Fate
The Red Foxes made it to the big dance after a tight finish against Rider in the MAAC Championship that was decided in penalties 5-3 in favor of Marist.
Marist senior goalkeeper Sam Ilin saved Rider’s fourth penalty, after which senior midfielder Jacob Schulman scored the decisive fifth penalty to crown Marist as the MAAC Champions for the fourth time in its history.
The Friars are coming off a close 2-1 OT loss to Georgetown in the Big East Conference Final. Providence’s sophomore forward Brendan McSorley scored a game-tying goal in the 85th minute, only to concede a second goal from Georgetown’s junior forward Stefan Stojancovic six minutes into OT.
Coaches History in NCAA Tournament
Marist coach Matt Viggiano will be making his first NCAA Tournament appearance since taking over in 2007.
Providence coach Craig Stewart has an extensive history in the tournament, as he will be making his eighth appearance in his tenth season leading the Friars. His resume includes multiple first and second round appearances, a semifinal appearance in 2014, an upset over first-seeded Maryland in 2016, and several of his players getting drafted by Major League Soccer.
Key Players to Watch
Marist’s graduate student forward Kyle Galloway continues to put the Red Foxes on the board as he most recently scored against Rider in the MAAC Championship, making it a combined three goals and two assists in the MAAC Playoffs.
MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Sam Ilin will be between the sticks and played a pivotal role in their win Sunday over Rider. He saved the fourth penalty and will be critical in preventing Providence from scoring this Thursday.
Graduate Captain and 2021 MAAC Defender of the Year Huib Achkterkamp and All-Championship Team teammate redshirt junior defender Demarre Montoute will also be players to watch. They were big contributors to the nine clean sheets the Red Foxes had this season and will have their hands full with Providence’s McSorley. McSorley has scored in two straight games for the Friars, adding to his team-leading goal tally of eight goals and two assists on the season.
Providence senior midfielder Paulo Lima, defender Ramzi Qawasmy, and junior midfielder Luis Garcia all join McSorley in players the Red Foxes should key in on. Lima and Garcia have manned the midfield and have combined for nine goals and nine assists this season, contributing to half the goals the Friars scored this season.
Garcia was key in the team keeping six clean sheets this season. Both Lima and Qawasmy were named on the Big East All-Conference First Team while Garcia was named to the All-Conference second team.
It will be the MAAC Champions against the Big East runner-ups in the first round of the NCAA tournament. One team will be getting its first taste of the big dance, while the other has been through this experience before.
The winner of this first-round game will head to the defending national champions’ home in 14th-seeded Marshall, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Edited by Bridget Reilly and Mackenzie Meaney
Photo by Luke Sassa