The Marist women’s soccer team battled through adversity and overcame their early season demons and notched its first victory of the season with a 2-1 triumph in Ithaca over Cornell on Sunday afternoon.
Marist needed players to step up to replace the production of the absent All-MAAC Preseason junior midfielder Amanda Caldarelli. The replacement was her sister, junior defender Samantha Caldarelli.
Caldarelli opened the scoring for the Red Foxes in the 8th minute with a counterattack goal. The defender aggressively stepped up and stole the ball before playing a 1-2 pass with senior midfielder Grace Hotaling and then fired a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner. Caldarelli is quickly becoming an important player for the Red Foxes as she leads the team in scoring in the early part of the season.
The Red Foxes continued applying pressure, and their defense was making smart plays. Kelchner was excellent in the first half as she made seven saves. Her biggest save of the half was in the 35th minute on a free kick from Cornell junior defender Jackie Lasseter. Marist was on track to head into the half with a lead until Cornell senior midfielder Sara Degraw stole the equalizer in the 42nd minute.
Degraw received a pass from sophomore defender Lily Ellingson and fired a shot from outside of the box that went over the outstretched arms of Kelchner, sending the teams into the halftime break tied at one goal apiece.
Kelchner continued her solid play for Marist in the second half as she started with a save coming off her line in the 50th minute. She added a diving save in the 54th minute on a header from a Cornell attacker. As the half progressed, both teams were playing for the draw, and Marist was starting to fall back into their early season ways.
Marist pushed through adversity and found the breakthrough goal in the 69th minute when junior forward Grace DiVincenzo had a tap-in goal off a cross from senior defender Samantha Sturno. Sturno played in a cross that found the foot of DiVincenzo as she was in a scramble for the ball.
The Red Fox defense remained strong, and they were able to finish the job in the final twenty minutes. Kelchner capped off an 11-save performance with a save on a header in the 86th minute to give Marist its first win of the season.
Marist’s victory was its first win over Cornell since 2014. The Red Foxes are heading in the right direction, and they need to continue to close out games with their defense.
The Red Foxes will look to continue their momentum as they head home to face UMBC on Thursday, September 8 at, 7 p.m.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane