After an NCAA Tournament run last spring, the MAAC announced in January that Marist is projected as the co-favorite along with the typical top competitor Wagner College to win the league in the 2022 season. MAAC head coaches gave the Red Foxes 71 total points and three first-place votes.
Marist is coming off a strong 2021 season where they captured the MAAC Championship title. Wagner opted out of the 2021 season due to COVID-19 concerns and therefore did not participate in the conference championships. Making it all the way to California for the NCAA Tournament, Marist finished the season 9-1 overall, with its only defeat coming against top-ranked ranked University of Southern California.
Senior, Marina Hyham was named Preseason MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year and was also named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team. Utility Freshman, Madeline Schultz has been named the MAAC Freshman of the week a startling five times before the start of conference play. In addition, utility senior Myriam Lizotte was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team. Last season, Lizotte appeared in all ten games, scoring 19 goals and a team-high of 27 points. In the MAAC Championship victory, Lizotte was the leading goal scorer with a total of four goals.
In addition to the MAAC poll, Marist began the season ranked 23rd in the country by the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Poll. The Red Foxes started their 2022 season in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the Michigan Tournament. After losing against Stanford, Hawaii, Michigan, and Indiana (all nationally ranked teams), the Red Foxes came back in the Bruno Classic in Providence, Rhode Island to win against Saint Francis (PA) and Pomona-Pitzer.
The Red Foxes hosted the Courtney Fisher Invite on February 26, where they played Mercyhurst and St. Francis-Brooklyn, sweeping the competition by a combined score of 43-11. The home invitational was special for the Red Foxes as they honored and paid their respects to Fisher, a former Marist player who died in a car accident before her sophomore year in 2016. The walk-on is remembered as a fun, energetic person who was always a team player.
“It’s tough because I’ve actually never even met Courtney,” Head Coach Chris Vidale previously said. “It’s just that when you hear all these things about her, she just sounds like a wonderful young woman. But I wanna pay my respects in any way possible.”
Marist enters MAAC play with a 13-9 overall record, with wins in six of its last eight games. Getting through a difficult non-conference schedule with a winning record is a good sign for Vidale’s squad. With experienced players like Hyham and Lizotte mixed with youth like Schultz, the Red Foxes should be a tough out in the conference.
Marist will begin MAAC play today, Saturday, March 19 against Siena and will have a span of 15 conference games to close out the year. Their final regular conference game is scheduled against Wagner on April 16 and will take place at Marist. Then, the team will enter MAAC Championship play as they hope to win another conference title and move on to the 2022 NCAA tournament.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane and Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Marist Athletics