With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Red Foxes desperately needed a win.
Marist did just that, as they dominated every offensive category in a 2-0 win over the Manhattan Jaspers on senior night at Tenney Stadium.
“I’m happy that we were able to jump up early, and it gives the seniors an added memory,” Marist head coach Brittany Kolmel said. “The seniors have done a great job of leading by example, and they are just a group of strong women.”
“This was a must-win game for the MAAC standings, and it was a complete 90-minute win,” fifth-year forward Nicole Colantuono said.
Marist came out aggressive in the first half, taking advantage of the energy from the senior night festivities. Junior midfielder Amanda Caldarelli had a chance in the 2nd minute, when she fired a shot wide of the net. The Red Foxes controlled possession for the majority of the half, generating chance after chance in the final third.
Senior forward Brooke Cergol was active up top for Marist, as she constantly put pressure on the Jaspers defense. Marist graduate student goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner made her only save of the half in the 16th minute on a shot from Manhattan sophomore forward Julia Nicholas. The Red Foxes continued to play on the front foot, as they had eight shots on goal. They were unable to test Manhattan graduate student goalkeeper Kim Mains, as every shot was directly at her.
Kolmel went to fifth-year forward Nicole Colantuono, who delivered once again. In the 39th minute, the transfer from the University of Notre Dame won a free kick just outside of the Manhattan box. Colantuono fired a shot that was deflected off Manhattan sophomore midfielder Nicolette Caneda into the far corner to give the Red Foxes a 1-0 lead. That goal was Colantuono’s team-leading fifth goal of the season. Marist took a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
“I saw the ball deflect, and it deflected in the right direction,” Colantuono said. “I’ll take anything I can get.”
“Both goals were not the cleanest, but sometimes it just takes grit and hard work to be there,” Kolmel said.
Manhattan came out aggressive in the second half, and they were creating chances early. Kelchner remained in command of her box, as she organized the Marist backline and kept her team in the lead. Marist sophomore defender Grace Hennig and junior defender Kaitlyn Bogucki were excellent in the second half, as they were always well-positioned when the ball ended up at their feet. Kelchner added one of her five saves in the 65th minute on a shot from Manhattan junior midfielder Reina Callahan.
Both teams had quality chances in the 68th minute, as Cergol had a shot saved inside the six by Mains followed by Kelchner making a save on a shot from Nicholas. The best defensive play in the half came from Marist junior defender Samantha Caldarelli in the 70th minute, as she cleared a shot off the line from Caneda. The Red Foxes found a way to stay composed in critical moments, something they failed to do in previous games.
“It was awesome to see the fight and determination of the players,” Kolmel said.
“Today was the most complete game that we have played,” Colantuono said.
Two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Lauryn Schmidt had the dagger for the Red Foxes. Amanda Caldarelli played a cross that Schmidt tapped home to put Marist up 2-0. The goal stole back the momentum that was starting to shift in favor of Manhattan as the second half went on. The Red Foxes’ defense held strong, and Marist secured a much-needed victory.
“It shows a true sign of everybody having trust. If you have the mindset of doing the right things, at some point everything will start to shift in our direction,” Kolmel said when asked about the momentum-shifting goal from Schmidt.
Marist improves to 4-4-5 and 2-3-2 in conference play. The Red Foxes continued their dominance over Manhattan, as they are now 15-4-3 since 2001 against the Jaspers. Marist secured a much needed three points that puts them one point outside of the top six with three conference games remaining. With the new playoff format, the Red Foxes need to finish in the top six to make the MAAC Tournament. The Red Foxes will have two of their final three games at home.
“We have to go to Canisius, but then we have the comfort of having two at home,” Kolmel said. “As long as we stay focused, we can keep making that push.”
“We are in a position where we almost need to win out,” Colantuono said. “We do very well at Tenney, and we would love to pack Tenney and have that home-field advantage.”
Marist will look to keep their playoff hopes alive when they travel to Buffalo, New York, to take on Canisius on Wednesday, October 19, at 1 P.M.
Edited by Christian De Block
Photos from Marist Athletics