Marist men’s lacrosse (2-6 ,1-2 MAAC) lost a heartbreaker to Quinnipiac (4-3, 2-1 MAAC) by a score of 14-12. The Red Foxes have had the Bobcats’ number in the past, but today was different. The Marist offense played well, but the Quinnipiac offense was better. This was the first Bobcats win over the Red Foxes since 2018.
Coming into the game two Marist players were chasing history. One was graduate defenseman Kyle Stofko and the other was graduate attackman JoJo Pirreca.
Stofko needed three caused turnovers to join a list of three active players to have 100 career caused turnovers, but fell short as he had two.
Pirreca came into today’s game with 96 career goals, tied with two alumni for sixth place. The graduate student ended with three goals on the day.
Marist knew they had a tall task at the faceoff x against graduate student Dimitri George. George is one of the best faceoff men in the country, leading the MAAC in faceoff percentage. When the two teams faced each other last season sophomore Dylan Bedell had the upper hand, winning 17 out of 30 faceoffs against George. This game was much of the same, but instead senior faceoff man Matt Fermo had the upper hand against George today winning 15 out of 28 on the day.
Marist needed to come out fast against this Bobcat team and that is exactly what they did thanks to junior midfielder Joshua Balcarcel and graduate attackman Jamison Embury, who gave the Red Foxes an early 2-0 lead. Quinnipiac answered right back with a goal from junior midfielder Steven Germain.
Freshman midfielder Vinny Butrico, who has seen a significant uptick in playing time this season, stung a shot right past the Quinnipiac goalie which gave Marist the two-goal lead, 3-1. Quinnipiac would not back down as senior attackmen John Delucia snuck one past the Marist goaltender, cutting the lead down to one for Marist, 3-2.
Starting off the second quarter Quinnipiac would get the first three goals. Delucia, junior attackman Dylan Donnery and junior attackman Trey Gehen gave Quinnipiac a two-goal lead. Pirreca would not let the lead last long as he scored his first goal of the game. Marist scored another, this time courtesy of sophomore midfielder Sam Ferrel, tying the game at five. With 90 seconds left in the half, Germain scored his second to retake the lead for the Bobcats.
On the first faceoff of the second half, Fermo would do it all by himself, winning the faceoff, scooping the ground ball and scoring to tie the game at six. On the ensuing possession Pirreca would net his second goal of the day and gave Marist the lead, 7-6. Both goals came in the first 40 seconds of action.
Quinnipiac found the equalizer off a goal from junior midfielder Evan Perry, 7-7.
Senior midfielder Sean Kelliher would score his second goal of the season giving Marist the lead, 8-7.
All game both teams were trading blows and that continued when Delucia would score his third goal of the game, tying the game at eight.
Pirreca then went on to score his third of the game for the hattrick, and one goal from 100, to retake the lead once again, 9-8. Donnery would sneak one into the back of the net tying the game at nine.
In the fourth quarter, Donnery, Gehen, and junior midfielder Trevor Douglas would score three unanswered goals, putting Quinnipiac up 12-9.
Marist responded with a goal from Embury, giving him his fifth point of the game and Butrico would score two man-up goals cutting the lead down to one, 12-11.
Senior attackmen Jake Tellers would score putting the Bobcats back up by two, 13-11.
Graduate student midfielder James Lyons then cut the lead to one by scoring one of his own,
But ultimately, Douglas would deliver the dagger for Quinnipiac scoring off a defensive miscue, 14-12 to give Quinnipiac the victory.
Marist’s defense was causing turnovers all day as sophomore defender Aiden McCaffrey had three, while graduate student defender Tyler Ammirato and Stofko both added two of their own.
The goalie matchup was one to keep an eye on coming into the game and it did not disappoint. Marist sophomore Noble Smith got the nod again in today’s contest as he ended with 10 saves. Quinnipiac graduate student Nick Dimuccio ended today’s game with 13 saves.
Marist’s next contest will be against the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Wednesday, March 29 at Tenney Stadium. First faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics