The Marist Red Foxes (5-7, 3-1 MAAC) secured a 13-12 victory over the Manhattan Jaspers (5-6, 3-2 MAAC) on the road in a game that had a lot of implications towards the MAAC Tournament.
If Manhattan had won they would’ve clinched home-field advantage. Now that Marist won, they are set to host the tournament. St. Bonaventure, who is first in the MAAC standings is new to the conference this year so they are ineligible to host the tournament due to conference rules.
Faceoffs are arguably the most important part of the game and Marist got what they needed out of freshman faceoff specialist Dylan Bedell, who won 15 out of 28 in today’s contest.
Today’s goalie matchup was also important as two of the better goalies in the MAAC faced off. Marist senior goalie Anthony Novellano, ranked fourth in the NCAA in saves per game with 14.64 while Manhattan’s graduate student goalkeeper Brendan Krebs averaged 11.10 saves per game coming into today. Krebs was the Co-MAAC Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Both teams looked to start hot out the gate, and it was Manhattan who scored first off of a Novellano turnover as graduate student attackmen Sean Mackinney got the Jaspers on the board first. Marist struck right back off a pass from senior midfielder James Lyons who found junior attackmen Kellen Pulera on the crease, tying the game.
Coming into the game, the consensus would be that this would be a back-and-forth affair and that was the deal early in the game as junior midfielder Christian Lyons broke the 1-1 deadlock and gave Manhattan the early lead. The Jaspers did not stop there as Mackinney scored his second of the game, which gave them the early 3-1 lead.
Marist reduced the Jaspers’ lead as senior midfielder Hunter Embury scored, beating Krebs high and reduced the deficit to 3-2. On the next possession, Manhattan found the back of the net again as Christian Lyons scored his second of the day, putting them up 4-2.
Red Foxes’ James Lyons gave them the spark they needed as he scored off a question-mark move on his defender to reduce the lead to one. Marist did not stop there as a save from Novellano turned into offense for freshman midfielder Ryan Jones, who put his name on the scoresheet and stung one past Krebs to tie the game at four apiece.
Manhattan stopped Marist’s momentum with a goal from junior attackmen Kyle Gucwa with two minutes left in the first quarter. The quarter ended 5-4.
The Jaspers started the second quarter with a goal from graduate student Jake Nicolosi to make it 6-4. Marist then responded with a goal from sophomore midfielder Joshua Balcarcel, which kept the game within a goal.
Following their goal, Marist got called for two penalties on a faceoff violation and an illegal procedure, which led to two Manhattan goals. The first from Gucwa and the other from graduate student Brendan O’ Sullivan, which gave the Jaspers an 8-5 lead with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Marist finally responded to Manhattan’s goals as Pulera notched a goal for the Red Foxes, narrowing the Jaspers lead to two. After controlling the ball on offense for over two minutes, tired legs on defense led to a Jaspers goal from Mackinney to complete a hat trick. The goal extended their lead to 9-6 and was the final goal before the half.
Both teams had sloppy turnovers to start the second half, but eventually Marist found their footing first. Senior midfielder Jason Intermesoli, Pulera, senior Jojo Pirreca, Bedell, and Embury scored five straight goals for the Red Foxes, which gave them their first lead of the game and a two-goal cushion at 11-9.
After a nine-minute drought, Manhattan scored their first of the half thanks to Mackinney’s fourth to reduce the deficit to one. Then a second effort from Marist’s Christian Lyons restored their lead back to two. Novellano also came up with two huge saves for the Red Foxes at the end of the third quarter, which kept the game at 12-10.
Both teams were held scoreless until the 5:55 mark of the final quarter when Manhattan scored thanks to graduate student Justin Malpica and narrowed the Marist lead to one goal. On the next possession, Intermesoli found his running mate James Lyons, who scored his third of the game on the crease to put Marist back up two goals, 13-11.
With one minute left in the game Novellano came up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which drew him out of the game and forced him to spend time in the penalty box. Junior goalie Dan O’ Meara had to step in on the man-down unit and made the biggest save of the game for the Red Foxes as the save gave them the ball back with 18 seconds left to play.
In total, Marist made ten saves, nine from Novellano, and Krebs racked up 11 for Manhattan.
The Marist defense came up with the stops as defensemen Larry Cangro and Kyle Stofko led the team with three caused turnovers. Midfielder Stephen Bickell and long stick midfielder JT Roselle came up with two turnovers of their own.
Marist will take on Canisius next Saturday, April 23 at noon in Buffalo, N.Y.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics