Marist Comeback Falls Short in Season Opener

The Marist women’s lacrosse team’s second-half comeback falls short as the Red Foxes drop their season opener to Bucknell by a score of 17-12. Marist hosted the Bison on Saturday afternoon in the first non-conference game of Marist’s season. 

Bucknell was 0-2 entering this game dropping their season opener to Penn State on Feb. 11 by a score of 16-6 and their home opener vs. UMBC by a score of 12-10. Marist was 4-1 in their previous matchups with Bucknell and was looking to prevail in their home opener at Tenney on this chilly, yet sunny afternoon. 

However, it was all Bucknell in the opening quarter. The Bison struck first as sophomore attacker Taylor McClain found junior midfielder Emily Baird for her first goal of the game and season. Just minutes later, after a shot clock violation by the Red Foxes, McClain dished out another assist this time to freshman midfielder Megan Krestinski. 

The Bison continued to pack it on in the first quarter as Baird knocked on another goal with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter and sophomore attacker Allie Boyce tallied on two of her own to end the quarter with a 5-0 lead on the Foxes. 

“We let Bucknell get the momentum. Defensively, we weren’t holding them the way we should have. We let them come in through the inside. We didn’t allow them to take outside shots,” Marist’s head coach Jessica Wilkinson said. “We let them get inside and it wasn’t a good look for us and we let them have these easier shots on our goalie and that’s because we weren’t playing body defense we were going for the swings.”

Bucknell’s momentum continued as Baird tacked on another goal just two minutes into the second quarter. The junior from Dallas, Texas had just two goals in her first two seasons at Bucknell and already had a hat trick within the first 20 minutes of this game alone. Baird finished the game with four goals, the leading scorer for the Bison.

Bucknell continued to pile it on as freshman attacker Caroline Sheridan knocked in her first career goal along with sophomore defender Aliza Thir breaking her way to the score sheet. 

Bucknell led 8-0 halfway through the second quarter, until Marist finally broke through with their first goal of the season as senior attacker Kelly Trotta found sophomore midfielder Jamie McPherson for the score. However, Bucknell’s dominant performance in the circle was the true difference in this first half. Bucknell had a draw control differential of 13-4 on Marist in the first half. 

“They had a lot of the draw controls, we didn’t have the ball in our stick and they got the momentum and it kind of snowballed,” said Wilkinson. 

Bucknell continued to pound it on the offensive side of the ball as freshman midfielder Bella Koch knocked in her first career goal with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter. 

Marist found some momentum near the end of the quarter as senior attacker Kerri Gutenberger dodged at the top of eight to get the shooting space call and a free position shot for her first goal of the season making the score 9-2. 

Just a few minutes later, after a strong Marist defensive front ending with a save from junior goalkeeper Miranda Lopes, senior attacker Olivia Arnsten received a beautiful feed from sophomore midfielder Alana Tavares to allow the Red Foxes to keep things close in the second half with a score and a goal differential of 6-4 in favor of the Bison. Junior midfielder Delany Hayes knocked on a final free-position goal for the Red Foxes making the score 11-4 at the end of the half. 

Bucknell had 25 shots in the first half compared to Marist’s nine. Junior goalkeeper Miranda Lopes tallied eight saves in the first half before being replaced by freshman goalkeeper Morgan Carroll.

Adjustments were made in the second half by Marist which ultimately helped them stay in the game up until the final whistle blew.

“We needed to make adjustments. We changed our goalies. Our defense made the adjustments. I asked them to play nothing fancy defensejust keep them out and keep the lower body underneath them and limit the fouls. Offensively, we took advantage of some runs and changed some things up on the draw. We put a freshman of ours on the circle so she was able to move things around for us and get us some looks and it kind of tittered back our way,” said Wilkinson. 

Holding off the Bison for the first half of the third quarter, freshman attacker Katie Browne knocked in her second goal of the game and third of the season. Just two minutes later, after a Marist turnover, junior attacker Taylor Kopan ripped one over the head of Carrol to cushion the Bison’s lead.

However, senior captains Trotta and Gutenberg put the team on their back and found more ways than one to keep the Red Foxes in the game. 

Just after Kopan’s shot, Trotta found the net to knock in her first goal of the season. Trotta continued her impressive showing and found Gutenberger just 30 seconds later who finished with a beautiful behind-the-back score. 

Trotta, not finished, tallied on her second goal of the game to end the third quarter to cut the deficit to six. 

Trotta finished the game with three goals and two assists while Gutenberger finished the game with four goals. 

“They are huge. They are huge impact players for us. Offensively, they get it done. They come to work every day, they come to practice every day to work and they instill that type of discipline in our girls which is great,” said Wilkinson speaking on the leadership of both Trotta and Gutenberger. 

While Bucknell struck first in the final quarter, after a yellow card penalty on senior defender Ella Payer, Marist was able to capitalize on the man-up scenario as junior attacker Maddie Schrader tacked on her first goal of the year. Marist’s momentum continued as Gutenberger sniped her third goal of the game from the top of the eight completing the hat trick, making the score 14-9 with just over 11 minutes left to play. 

After another Bucknell penalty, this time by Baird, Marist found themselves in another man-up scenario and this time Tavares found the back of the net to cut the deficit to four. The Red Foxes had four unanswered goals since the start of the quarter.

Bucknell knocked on two more goals, one by Baird, her fourth of the game, and another by Boyce, her third. With the game looking to be too far gone, Trotta completed the hat trick to keep the game within reach with a score of 16-11 with just over seven minutes to play. Just over a minute later, Gutenberg sniped another beautiful shot in the top left corner of the net to cut the deficit back to four, keeping the momentum and spirits of the Red Foxes high. 

With just over three minutes to play, senior midfielder Caroline Miller knocked on the final goal for the Bison and sealed Bucknell’s first victory of the season with a score of 17-12. 

Baird led the way for the Bison finishing the day with four goals. Boyce followed with three goals and one assists while Koch and Browne both finished with two apiece. For Marist, Gutenberger finished the day with four goals while Trotta finished with three goals and two assists. Tavares, Shrader, Arntsen, and McPherson each added one as well. 

Defensively for Marist, Lopes finished the day with eight saves and Carroll finished with seven. Senior goalkeeper for the Bison, Symone Ryans, finished the day with 11 saves. Tavares picked up three ground balls for the Red Foxes and sophomore defender Sophia Georgopoulos added three as well. Senior midfielder Caroline Miller and senior defender Caitlin McHale each added three ground balls to the scoresheet for the Bison.

For Wilkinson and the Red Foxes, while the power and leadership of Trotta and Gutenberg do not go unnoticed, it is important the rest of the team aids to the game as well. “It is really nice to have one on one side of the field and one on the other, but we really need them to start spreading that leadership to other people on the field so that we have a deeper look. I think they are excellent, I just don’t think they can take on a whole seven-person defense some days, but they have been phenomenal,” said Wilkinson.

The Red Foxes look to get their first win of the season as they travel to Army this week on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. A strong second-half performance by Marist gives this team a lot to look forward to and to improve on as the season is just beginning.

Edited by Andrew Hard

Photo from Jonathan Kinane

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