A stagnant offense and uncharacteristic plays from your goalkeeper. Not the recipe for success in conference play.
The Marist Women’s Soccer team struggled offensively for large stretches of the game, and Natalie Kelchner made a crucial mistake in a 2-1 defeat against Fairfield on Saturday night in Connecticut.
Marist started the game strong, as they controlled possession and kept the Stags’ offense in check. Red Foxes goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner made a save coming off her line in the 7th minute, adding another key stop on a shot from Fairfield midfielder Reagan Klarmann later on. Marist continued to hold possession, but were unable to string enough passes together to create any quality chances.
Fairfield took advantage of the Red Foxes’ inability to score in the 17th minute. Graduate student Maddie Mills played a dangerous corner kick, which led to a scramble in the box. Fairfield junior forward Elle Scott beat multiple Marist defenders to a 50/50 ball to tap in the opening goal of the game. The Red Foxes showed poor marking and awareness on the loose ball, and Scott made them pay.
Kelchner kept the Red Foxes in the game throughout the first half with five saves. She was able to stop Fairfield from extending their advantage in the game despite having trouble conceding second chances in multiple passages of play.
The Red Foxes’ offense did not register a shot on goal in the first half, and their best chance was a left-footed shot from junior forward Grace Divincenzo in the 33rd minute. Marist trailed 1-0 at the end of the first half.
Marist started the second half in attack mode, as freshman forward Anna Maggi fired a shot that was saved by Katie Wright in the 49th minute. The Red Foxes continued pushing players forward, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Fairfield attempted to put the game away early in the half, and they took advantage of a mistake from Kelchner in the 55th minute. Stags freshman forward Maddy Theriault played a cross in that Kelchner punched out, but directly landed at the feet of senior midfielder/forward Hannah Vogt, who scored the second goal of the game. The mistake was uncharacteristic of Kelchner, and it allowed Fairfield to fully take control of the game.
As the half progressed, Marist was starting to pose no threat offensively. Junior midfielder Amanda Caldarelli quickly changed that in the 70th minute, as she scored a solo goal from deep. Caldarelli took a touch and fired a floating shot over the outstretched arms of Wright to pull the Red Foxes within one.
Marist pushed for the equalizer in the final twenty minutes, but found no luck creating a quality chance. The Red Foxes were unable to find a second goal as the Stags secured the victory. Marist only forced one save from Wright, as they didn’t pose much of a goal threat on the night.
The Red Foxes drop to 2-2-4 on the season, and they are still winless in MAAC play. Marist still has one game left on their current four-game road trip, with the team needing to start positive results in conference play.
Marist will look for its first conference win of the season as they travel to New Jersey to take on Saint Peter’s on Wednesday, September 28, at 3 P.M.
Edited by Christian De Block
Photo from Marist Athletics