Afternoon games on the road can sometimes be referred to as trap games. The Marist Women’s Soccer team found themselves in one such game, but were unable to earn a positive result from it, losing 1-0 to Saint Peter’s in Jersey City on Wednesday.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the opening fifteen minutes, with each side lacking decisiveness in the final third. The Red Foxes came out aggressively on defense, as senior defender Samantha Sturno and junior defender Samantha Caldarelli set the tone. Marist was able to take advantage of an inexperienced Saint Peter’s team early.
The Red Foxes controlled the majority of the possession throughout the half, but were unable to test freshman goalkeeper Olvia Mackethan. Marist settled for through balls and long balls that were not effective against the Saint Peter’s backline. They failed to create a quality chance in the first half.
As the game appeared to be heading towards a defensive battle, Saint Peter’s freshman midfielder Alyssa Hackett picked the perfect time for the first goal of her career. In the 32nd minute, Saint Peter’s freshman defender Samantha Garcia had a throw-in that found the feet of freshman forward Gianna Grassifulli, who flicked it on to Hackett. The young midfielder beat multiple Marist defenders to the 50/50 ball and took a touch before firing a strike past Marist graduate student goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner to open the scoring.
The Red Foxes continue to struggle with winning duels all across the field this season, a problem that has led to the team giving up cheap goals. For the remainder of the first half, Marist did not pose a threat offensively as they entered the break trailing 1-0.
Saint Peter’s came out strong in the second half, testing Kelchner early. The Marist goalkeeper made a good save at her near post on a shot from Saint Peter’s freshman forward Xochilt Turijan in the 51st minute. Kelchner was solid for the Red Foxes in the second half, finishing the match with five saves.
Marist struggled to create scoring opportunities in the second half, as the young backline for Saint Peter’s did a good job of limiting their chances. One of their best scoring chances came in the 61st minute on a bouncing shot from fifth-year forward Nicole Colantuono, which was saved by Mackethan. The Red Foxes did not challenge Mackethan enough in the second half, as she finished the game with two saves.
Marist tried to create opportunities towards the end of the game, but were unable to find the back of the net. Mackethan came off her line for a save in the 85th minute, and Saint Peter’s held on for the victory.
Marist falls to 2-3-4 on the season, and they are currently in the midst of a two-game losing streak. They also finish their four-game road trip 1-2-1. This was only the fourth time Saint Peter’s has beaten Marist in 22 games all-time. This was a concerning loss for the Red Foxes, considering the inexperience on Saint Peter’s roster.
The inability to create enough chances in the final third has to be worrisome for Marist, as they have only scored one goal in their last two games. The Red Foxes have been inconsistent with their scoring output, as their attack has looked stagnant for large periods in multiple games now. Marist only had two shots on goal against Saint Peter’s, something that will need to change quickly if they want to be a threat in the MAAC.
Marist will once again look for their first conference win of the season as they return home to take on Iona on Saturday, October 1, at 7 P.M.
Edited by Christian De Block
Photo from Marist Athletics