Beating a team twice in the same week is a difficult task.
The Marist women’s soccer team was unable to defeat Niagara for the second time this week as the Red Foxes fell 3-1 in the MAAC Quarterfinals and saw their season come to an end on Sunday afternoon in Niagara Falls.
Niagara came out with an aggressive mindset, which was different from their approach in the first matchup. The Purple Eagles were creating quality chances early and disrupting the Marist backline. Marist graduate student goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner came off her line for a save in the 8th minute. Kelchner added a save on a free kick from Niagara junior forward Emma Bough in the 16th minute.
The Purple Eagles would not be denied for long as graduate student defender Ida Miceli scored in the 19th minute. Miceli received a pass from graduate student forward Emma Davis and took a touch in the box before firing a shot to the far post. Niagara kept on the attack in the 23rd minute and capitalized on a free kick.
Senior midfielder Emily Hähnlel played in a cross that found the head of graduate student forward Annie Ibey for Niagara’s second goal in four minutes. The goals came after Marist sophomore defender Grace Hennig went off with an injury. The Marist backline was unable to recover after Hennig went out.
Niagara took advantage of set pieces in the game and found another goal in the 41st minute. Sophomore midfielder Maia MacLean played in a corner that found the head of sophomore forward Ebba Noren. Marist junior defender Samantha Caldarelli tried to clear the ball off the goal line but was unable to. Niagara outshot Marist 12-0 in the first half. The Red Foxes entered the half trailing 3-0.
The second half started slowly as Niagara was content to play keep away from Marist. They tested Kelchner once in the 65th minute on a shot from Bough. Kelchner finished the game with five saves. Marist struggled to create chances, but they picked up their play as the half progressed.
The Red Foxes finally broke through in the 72nd minute when junior midfielder Amanda Caldarelli found the back of the net. Caldarelli dribbled past a defender and fired a left-footed shot into the bottom corner for an unassisted goal. Following the goal, Marist was unable to test Niagara for the remainder of the game. Niagara held on, and Marist ultimately fell 3-1.
Marist finishes the season 5-7-5 and 3-5-2 in conference play. The Red Foxes finish in the same position as last season as they fell in the MAAC Quarterfinals to Quinnipiac. Marist Head Coach Brittany Kolmel finishes her second full season, still searching for her first playoff win.
The Red Foxes will lose nine seniors and graduate students but look ahead to next season, where they will have 13 freshmen returning.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Marist Athletics