Marist notched their first win in MAAC play in dramatic fashion over Manhattan this Wednesday at Tenney Stadium, by a score of 10-9.
Manhattan entered the late afternoon game riding a three game winning streak, including their first two wins in MAAC play. On the other hand, Marist had dropped their first three conference games, eager to get in the win column. At the Marist women’s lacrosse team’s annual pride game, the stage was set for a pivotal contest.
To start the game, defense was on display. After an early goal from Manhattan, both goalies settled in. Marist’s goalkeeper, junior Miranda Lopes made two saves on free positions to keep the deficit at just one. On the other side of the field, senior goalkeeper Ashley Gambardella made two saves of her own to maintain Manhattan’s lead.
The score remained 1-0 until senior attacker Kelly Trotta scored a goal just before the quarter came to a close. Trotta retrieved the ball at midfield, and promptly worked her way into the Manhattan end and found the back of the net with under ten seconds remaining in the quarter.
“Being able to put one up at the end of the first quarter really helps our team keep with that 0-0 mentality,” Trotta said in regard to her game-tying goal.
The Red Foxes picked up right where they left off to start the second quarter. Just 20 seconds in, senior attacker Kerri Gutenberger scored off a feed from senior attacker Olivia Arntsen. Shortly thereafter, Marist held Manhattan to a crucial shot clock violation. With a chance to extend the lead, Gambardella made a save at point blank range on a shot from freshman midfielder Caitlin McNaboe.
Manhattan would then tie it back up on a goal from junior midfielder Julianna Iovine. Iovine entered the day’s play with 50 career goals in just 37 games, and her first of the day came on a free position.
A crucial steal from Trotta midway through the quarter led to a goal from sophomore midfielder Alana Tavares, her third on the season. Right after the media timeout following Tavares’ goal, Manhattan once again knotted the score back up on senior attacker Jillian Reiners second goal of the day. Marist would ultimately take the lead into half after Arnsted found sophomore attacker Alexa Borges for a goal while on a man-up advantage. Manhattan had a chance to even it back up before the break, but Lopes made a great save on sophomore attacker Olivia Cruthers with a minute remaining.
The game would continue to go back and forth, as Manhattan struck first in the second half on another goal from Reiner. Despite giving up the equalizer, Lopes continued her phenomenal play in net. She made another impressive save on a free position to preserve the tie. Coming off a tough loss to Fairfield, Lopes had a great bounce back day. She recorded 11 saves while only giving up nine goals, also recording some very significant clears.
“For her teammates, having them trust her between the pipes is tremendous,” head coach Jessica Wilkinson said.
Following the save, an unselfish feed from Gutenberger set up Arntsen with a great look at the net where she converted the go ahead goal on a man-up advantage. The fans in attendance were feeling symptoms of deja vu, as with just under two minutes left, Gutenberger once again found Arntsen for a goal on a man-up advantage. This finally pushed the Red Foxes lead past one, as they led 6-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
Manhattan came out firing to start the quarter. After just four minutes of play, the Jaspers scored three times, taking their first lead since holding a 1-0 advantage in the first quarter. A Marist timeout was not enough to slow down Manhattan. On a smooth transition from defense to offense, Manhattan’s Fernandes sisters teamed up to extend the lead to two. Sophomore attacker Ava Fernandes found her older sister senior attacker Julia Fernandes for the key goal.
Marist brought the deficit back to one on another goal from Trotta, but Manhattan answered right back with a goal of their own. After taking the faceoff ensuing the Manhattan goal, Gutenberger scored to put Marist back within one, but she was not done yet. With under two and a half minutes remaining, Gutenberger sent the crowd into a frenzy when she tied the game at nine with her third goal of the day.
Marist won the critical draw after Gutenberger’s goal and promptly marched down the field. After a foul by senior defender Andrea Liotta, Trotta had a free position with a chance to ice the game. She made the most of it, scoring to give Marist the lead with a minute and five seconds remaining. After winning the draw, the Red Foxes were successfully able to run the clock out, clinching their first in conference victory on the season
Despite entering the game on an eight game losing streak, Marist was able to pull off an impressive win against Manhattan, who had previously been undefeated in conference play. “I hope we take it as an end to the losing streak and rip through forward with wins,” Gutenberger said.
Marist will try to build upon this victory next Wednesday at 1 p.m., when they take on Niagara at home.
Edited by Andrew Hard
Photo from Jonathan Kinane