The skies opened up and rain poured down during the first quarter of the Marist women’s lacrosse team’s first MAAC Conference games against the Quinnipiac Bobcats, where the Red Foxes lost 19-7.
Prior to the start of the game, Marist honored their seniors from the classes of 2020 and 2021. In attendance were Jess Lasopanara, Jana Rothman, Carly Grant, Annie Sheehy, Allison Mahoney, Romy Villemure, Devon Connelly, and Marist’s all-time leading goal scorer, Sam Mehalick.
Quinnipiac made their name known out of the gate, going on a 5-0 run in the first 11 minutes. The best player on the field was Quinnipiac’s junior goalie Kat Henselder, who had 11 saves in the game, six of those coming in the first half alone.
Senior midfielder Maddie Deegan struck first for the Bobcats 39 seconds into play. Marist won the next draw and after working the ball around, junior attacker Olivia Arnsten was stuffed on the doorstep by Henselder, who sent the Bobcats the other way. Junior midfielder Sophia Iaccino found the back of the net on a free position, to put the MAAC foes up by two.
Sophomore Red Fox Bella D’Garcia won the draw on the circle, and carried the ball straight to X behind the net. The offense settles and works the ball around, but Quinnipiac played aggressive defense, shutting off the adjacent players to the ball and pressuring high, above the 12-meter arc. As the shot clock wound down, Sophomore attacker Kerri Gutenberger’s shot was saved by Henselder.
“Quite honestly, we didn’t play our best game today by any means,” head coach Jess Wilkinson said.
The rain played a large factor in transition, even after it had stopped. Lots of passes were off the mark or dropped as a result. Quinnipiac couldn’t clear, and Marist came back on attack. The Red Foxes set up a beautiful draw-and-dump play, but were again stopped by Henselder, who passed the ball quickly to get her team ahead in transition, and eventually a goal by crease-rolling junior Desiree Kleberg.
Quinnipiac then had two beautiful offensive sets, one give-and-go passing play, and a transition pass that found Deegan in behind the Marist defense on a breakaway and a commanding 5-0 lead.
Sophomore attacker Maddie Schrader got Marist on the board first, after a win on the draw by Gutenberger, the Red Foxes settled before graduate student Alex Di Chiara saw Schrader cutting across the crease, she quick-sticked it in to cut the deficit to four.
Marist had another chance on the next possession, as Di Chiara pulled a shooting space. She elected to pull it out, where she found senior midfielder Melissa Bucher wide open on the other side of the eight-meter, but Bucher fanned on the pass and couldn’t bury it. Quinnipiac found freshman midfielder Ellagrace Delmond to extend their lead over Marist back to five.
On their next trip down on offense, Marist was awarded a fresh 90 seconds on the shot clock because of a Bobcat offsides. After the correction, Di Chiara drives and calls a foul, giving her a free position from the first hash that she put away on the bounce cleanly. With seconds to go, Quinnipiac put away one more goal, this time from senior midfielder Sophie Spencer off a spin dodge, to make the score 7-2 at the end of the first quarter.
“We talked about moving the ball a bit more offensively and obviously our shot selection was something that we had to pay more attention to,” Wilkinson said after the first quarter.
Senior goalie Chloe Monroe came in relief of Orlando, who did not record a save in today’s game. The second quarter opened with a lot of back and forth action, errant passes, dropped balls, and other adverse conditions because the rain led to numerous ground ball wins and interceptions for both sides. Eventually, Bucher gets a card for a dangerous shot, putting the Bobcats a man up. Quinnipiac gets awarded a shooting space, but Deegan shot before the call was made, causing the goal to count. The fans at Tenney Stadium were not happy with the call and shouted ferociously at the officials for what they thought they missed.
On the next draw, Quinnipiac pulled early, which elicited a delighted response from fans as it became an uncontested Marist ball. On attack, Di Chiara, Gutenberger, and sophomore attacker Delaney Hayes were all saved on their shots by Henselder. Monroe recorded her first save of the game down low off a bounce shot.
Quinnipiac’s senior midfielder Gabby Beckett was awarded a shooting space call from the hanging hash that was buried cleanly on Monroe to make the score 9-2 Bobcats before a media timeout.
Afterward, the Bobcats came down on offense but their shot hit the outside of the net. Monroe scooped up the ball and started the Red Foxes on transition, but an errant pass gave Quinnipiac a fresh 90, where they settled on offense and capitalized on the extra time with a goal from Delmond.
After the draw, Marist went to work on offense, settling down and working the ball around. Quinnipiac’s defense continued their pressure, making it hard for the Red Foxes to break into the eight-meter. As time was running out on the shot clock, Di Chiara found Gutenberger cutting from the elbow, who placed a no-look shovel shot in the back of the net to score Marist’s third goal.
On the next draw, Gutenberger was shoved to the ground, eliciting unhappy shouts from the spectators, as they felt it should have been a card. The sophomore was slow to get up, but eventually got to her feet to pass the ball back into play as time expired in the first half with Marist trailing by seven.
Marist won the first draw at the start of the third quarter but junior attacker Olivia Arnsten was called for a charge. Quinnipiac capitalized with moving the ball around well, forcing crashes, and finding the open person. It was Iaccino again for her second goal of the game.
D’Garcia was given a yellow card on the draw, putting the Bobcats a man-up for the second time in the game. Still, Marist got the ball back on offense, but their shot was saved by Henselder. Quinnipiac had a foul on attack, which gave senior Sheridan DeVito the ball to start the transition.
Junior attacker Hannah Spease was saved by Henselder, as was the follow-up shot by Schrader, who was shoved to the ground after the play. Freshman Alana Tavares was awarded a free position shot that landed in the back of the net for her first collegiate goal. Quinnipiac had the answer though, and made it 12-4 halfway through the third. Henselder had another save before Monroe had two big saves at her own end. Quinnipiac scored three more before the quarter was over to make it 15-4 and force the clock to run freely for the fourth quarter.
“I think there’s a game day readiness that we need to have a bit more of a conscious idea of,” Coach Wilkinson said. “Asking them to push the fast breaks a little bit more, see their opportunities, and traditional aspects.”
The skies reopened and the rain pounded the field at Tenney, which made the playing surface slippery. Multiple players were slipping and sliding. Marist did find a bit of an offensive spark back, but Quinnipiac was relentless, going on a 3-0 run before Spease found the back of the net and made the score 17-5. Gutenberger found Spease again on the next trip on offense to bring the game within eleven. Also, with a delay of game call on the Bobcats, the Red Foxes scored to bring the game back with ten off a free position from Gutenberger on the center hash.
Devito was given her second yellow of the game and was forced to sit for the rest of the game, where the Bobcats scored their final two goals as time expired to make the final score of the Red Foxes MAAC opener 19-7.
Marist will look to bounce back from their loss in their next game at home on Wednesday, Mar. 30 against Siena at 4 p.m.
Edited by Bridget Reilly
Photo Credit: Marist Athletics