Coming off of two straight victories over Villanova and La Salle, Marist water polo came into Saturday looking to extend its win streak to four and preserve its perfect 6-0 home record. The Red Foxes ultimately succeeded on both fronts against a couple of MAAC conference foes, notching a 9-5 victory over the Iona Gaels during their morning match, followed by a dominant 19-5 showing over the Virginia Military Institute Keydets in the afternoon.
In the match against Iona, Marist operated from a 1-0 deficit for the first four minutes of play but ultimately held their ground in large part due to a number of saves by senior goalie Marina Hyham. They then knotted things up halfway through the first period when freshman utility Madeline Schultz scored on a shot from right in front of the goal, which was made possible by a gorgeous pass she received from overhead.
The Red Foxes continued the attack by scoring two more first-period goals, the second one coming from freshman center Ella Baumgarten and the third being another score from Schultz. Continuing where they left off to open the second period, senior utility Myriam Lizotte broke away from the pack before being fouled by the last defender in front of the goal. This set up a penalty shot, which she sank into the back of the net to give Marist a 4-1 lead.
Lizotte struck again only a few minutes later, this time scoring from much further out near the green line. The Gaels would go on to cut the deficit to 6-2 just before the half, but it was clear that they had been thoroughly outplayed by the Red Foxes.
Halfway through the third quarter, Iona crept a little closer when senior utility Maeve Ellen Wydan scored on a penalty shot, prompting Marist to call a timeout shortly thereafter in order to regroup. They responded right away, as junior utility Shinae Carrington successfully launched a high-arcing shot over the goalie’s outstretched hands to extend the lead to 7-3.
In the final period, senior utility Viktoria Orlova got the proceedings underway only 17 seconds in, draining a penalty shot. She followed it up with another goal only 30 seconds later, pushing the Marist lead to a comfortable 9-3 score. This lead proved to be too large for Iona to surmount, as the Red Foxes walked away with the eventual 9-5 victory in game one.
Game two against VMI started off on a similar note, as the Red Foxes displayed beautiful ball movement on the opening possession, with a number of passes culminating in Schultz scoring within the first 40 seconds of play. Lizotte also continued to make an impact, scoring a goal a minute and a half later.
At the end of an utterly dominant first period, the Marist led 7-0, with the Keydets failing to show any signs of life offensively. This offensive ineptitude, coupled with their sieve-like defense, doomed VMI from the start, as they seemingly never stood a chance.
The Red Foxes refused to let off the gas in the second period, highlighted by Schultz scooping up the ball and scoring after a missed shot ricocheted off of VMI goalie Katy Lloyd’s face. VMI finally got on the board with 6:54 left in the half, but by this point, they still trailed by seven. The Marist lead only ballooned from there, with the score being 12-1 at the half.
In the third period, VMI showed some improvement, as they tied Marist with three goals apiece, yet they still trailed 15-4 heading into the final period. This lead would ultimately stand up, with a final score being 19-5.
Marist will look to continue their recent run of success tomorrow as they travel to Philadelphia for a 9 a.m. rematch against La Salle, followed by a 4 p.m. rematch at Villanova University. VMI will get the chance to put on a better showing against the Red Foxes next Saturday, as they are set to host the Red Foxes for a rematch down in Lexington, Virginia at 10 a.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Marist Athletics