Even though it was a holiday weekend, there was still plenty of action happening in the world of Marist Athletics. While Center Field might not have been able to cover the action in-person, here is a recap of the weekend that was for several Marist teams.
Water Polo Splits Crucial Weekend in MAAC Play
Marist water polo entered the biggest weekend of their season with two heavyweight matchups versus two nationally ranked MAAC opponents in Wagner College and Long Island University.
In game one on Friday afternoon, Marist lost in an overtime thriller to the reigning MAAC champion Wagner Seahawks 14-13. The following morning, The Red Foxes bounced back with a 12-8 win in a MAAC semifinal rematch against the LIU Sharks, who ended Marist’s season in 2022.
Wagner came in ranked 16th in the country and undefeated in MAAC play.
The first quarter was back and forth as every time Wagner scored, Marist responded within two minutes. Sophomores Ella Baumgarten and Rachel Dean along with senior Viktoria Orlova and Shinae Carrington kept the Seahawks from building any lead.
Senior attacker Abbey Simshauser, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, scored one of four goals for the Seahawks.
Junior Andrea Arias, graduate student Pip Nash, and sophomore Carlota Alonso added goals for Wagner.
Period two was a different story as Marist’s offense exploded, scoring six goals. Orlova got the party started 20 seconds in. Baumgarten and Dean scored again to build the lead to 7-4. Alonso got one back for Wagner, but that was its only score of the quarter.
Utility Kaylee Brard, senior Emilie Gerhard, and Carrington all scored in the final two minutes to put Marist up 10-5 at the half. The offensive outburst put the Red Foxes in a good position for their best win of the season.
Unfortunately for Marist, Wagner came out hot in the third quarter, scoring four straight goals in the first three minutes. Arias completed her hat trick and Simshauser and attacker Malia Josephson completed the run.
Gerhard got one back at the five-minute mark to keep Marist ahead 11-9. The Seahawks scored twice more, both via senior defender Skye Nankervis, but Baumgarten added her third to give Marist a one-goal lead heading into the final quarter.
Quarter number four was a defensive battle, and no goals were scored until there was three and a half minutes remaining. Simshauser tied the game at 12 but Orlova pushed Marist ahead just 11 seconds later. Arias tied the game at 13 for Wagner, and the game moved to overtime.
Neither team scored in the first overtime, but Seahawk junior Grace Coleman pushed Wagner ahead in the second overtime with 23 seconds left. Marist could not tie the game and fell in a heartbreaker 14-13.
In a quick turnaround against 23rd-ranked LIU, Marist rushed out to a 6-3 lead after one quarter. Orlova netted a hat-trick in the opening five minutes. Baumgarten, Carrington, and senior India Alter mounted a three-goal run in the closing stages of the first.
The Red Foxes pulled away in the second quarter by blanking LIU. Carrington and Baumgarten scored once more in the first two minutes and freshman utility Paige Naegle scored with one second left in the half. Marist again built a solid lead going into halftime, and this time they never looked back.
To open the third period Wagner responded with two goals from junior attacker Paola Dominguez-Castro. Utility Kate Hinrichs scored a third straight goal for the Sharks, but Orlova netted her fourth in the last minute to push Marist ahead 10-6 going into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, both sides traded goals with Orlova and Baumgarten continuing their dominance. LIU senior Ale Aranguren scored with 30 seconds left, and Marist bounced back with a huge conference win.
The Red Foxes now sit at 20-9 on the season and 9-1 in MAAC play heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Marist will travel to New Rochelle to face Mount St. Mary’s and St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday and finish with a rematch against Iona on Sunday.
-Marley Pope, water polo beat writer
Softball Stays Hot, Sweeps Saint Peter’s
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the Marist softball team looked to extend their winning streak to six, as they faced off against their MAAC foe St. Peter’s Peacocks in a doubleheader. They would accomplish that mission by beating St. Peter’s 1-0 in the first game and 8-5 in the second.
The first leg was a pitcher’s duel between Red Foxes graduate student pitcher Calista Phippen and Peacocks’ graduate student pitcher Sydney Senerchia. Hitters from both teams struggled to get hits, as Senerchia consistently jammed Marist hitters inside forcing a lot of soft contact.
But in the fourth inning, Senerchia got herself into some trouble loading the bases and wound up walking in the only run of the game when she hit Red Foxes freshman catcher Isabella Manory with a pitch, resulting in sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Husic scoring from third making it 1-0.
But that would be the only run scored. Phippen went the whole game and finished with five strikeouts, giving up only three hits and two walks. Senerchia on the other hand, threw a complete game giving up five hits and three walks.
Game two would provide a bit more offense in stark contrast to the first one. Marist put up a whopping seven runs in the second inning, thanks to sophomore first baseman Maddie Pleasants who hit her third home run of the year and put the first run on the board.
Later on in the inning, with the runners on first and second, sophomore third baseman Ronnie Howard had a chance to do some damage. At first, she tried to bunt, in order to move over the runners. When that didn’t work she took a big swing and blasted one to deep left field, over the fence for a three-run home run, the first of her collegiate career.
In the circle for the Red Foxes was senior pitcher Kiley Myers who was on her A game, retiring 14 straight Peacock hitters to start the game. However, in the seventh Myers had a tough time closing out, losing some of her command, which St. Peter’s took advantage of, scoring four runs in the inning. But it would not be enough as Marist would hold on to win 8-5. As they also extended their winning streak over St. Peter’s to 33 straight since 2008. Next up the Red Foxes will face off against UMass in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday.
-Jacob Aframian, softball beat writer
Baseball falls to 1-5 in MAAC play as Pitching Falters Against Mount St. Mary’s
The Red Foxes’ first homestand of the season gave Marist a fresh start after a grueling 25-game road schedule. It started out promising, defeating the University of Albany and Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday, but what held strong in those games would be their undoing in the next two: pitching.
A 10.48 cumulative earned run average is not sustainable for a winning ball club. In their two wins earlier in the week, they had only allowed 12 runs total, a significant landmark for them, but Friday and Saturday saw the pitching falter again. The Red Foxes allowed double-digit runs in each game, starting with a score that does not fully reflect the game with Marist losing 10-8 in Friday’s matchup.
Marist senior Quinn Drake took the mound in the second game of their three-game set against the Mount. Drake had pitched phenomenally over his previous four outings, surrendering just two earned runs in 10 innings pitched (1.80 ERA), though the only caveat was he had not pitched over three innings at any point yet this season.
With head coach Lance Ratchford’s bullpen thin, they were planning on pushing Drake a bit further than he was accustomed to in this start. His stuff was stellar through four innings, allowing just two earned runs with seven strikeouts, but the fifth inning was when his endurance became an issue.
Marist took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fourth after redshirt sophomore Marco Ali tied the game at two with a run-scoring single and senior Colin Mackle gave the Red Foxes the lead with a go-ahead sacrifice fly to right field.
Leading 3-2, Drake was asked to go one more inning, but after a leadoff hit-by-pitch followed by a walk, senior Jayson Kramer, who had homered the day before, got a hold of another one and gave the Mount Maniacs a 5-3 lead with one swing. From there, Mount St. Mary’s never looked back, adding five more runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Marist attempted a late-inning comeback, but it simply ran out of firepower to complete the miracle. The Red Foxes cut the deficit in the ninth but with two outs and the tying run at the plate, sophomore Nathan Lincoln struck out looking to end the game as the Mount tied the series.
The rubber game of this conference matchup had a very encouraging start for the Red Foxes, but it quickly spiraled downward on a tough day for the pitching staff. Marist fell to Mount St. Mary’s for the second straight game in a 16-7 blowout loss.
Just like game one of the series, Marist jumped out to the early two-run lead in the first inning. The hottest hitter in the Red Foxes’ lineup, graduate student Brian Hart extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a run-scoring double – Hart is hitting .472 over this span. Two batters later, freshman Bayram Hot drove in Hart with a sacrifice fly.
The Red Foxes were leading with sophomore Jack Bowery on the bump. The southpaw had a clean first inning, but the long ball was his enemy Saturday.
After already surrendering one run, junior designated hitter Scott Seeker hit a three-run home run in the top of the second inning to put the Mount ahead by two. And the very next inning, junior first baseman Shane Wockey hit a two-run home run – Wockey finished with a career-high seven runs batted in.
Marist actually brought the game to within striking distance after a Hot run-scoring double in the third inning, followed by two fourth-inning runs via a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5 Mount St. Mary’s.
However, a five-spot by the Mount in the sixth inning took the game out of reach, with the visitors continuing to tack on insurance runs in each of the final three innings. It was anything but a pleasant game for the Marist pitching staff as they could not overcome the explosive bats of their new conference rival.
The Red Foxes struggled to maintain consistency in the latter half of their homestand, but they can redeem themselves Wednesday, Apr. 12 at 6 p.m. when they head south to Piscataway, New Jersey to face off against Rutgers. Their next conference matchup will be at Siena beginning Friday, Apr. 14 at 3 p.m.
-Kevin Chin, baseball beat writer
Track and Field Delivers at Vassar
Marist men’s and women’s track and field competed at both the Duke and Vassar Twilight Invitationals, with the Red Foxes turning in several strong performances closer to home.
On the men’s side, Noah Brown took first place in the pole vault, Brendan Dearie topped the field in the 5,000-meter run, and Ryan Bahnsen won the 400-meter dash just ahead of teammate Roshan Kalikasingh.
On the women’s side, Raven Stanet won the 800-meter run while two other Red Foxes (Anaiya Bobo and Greta Stuckey) finished in the top five. Grace O’Neill took the high jump title while several other Marist athletes delivered top-five performances in their respective events.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis Notch Wins Over Lafayette
Marist men’s tennis earned its second win in a row with a tight 4-3 decision over Lafayette at home on Saturday. The Red Foxes were just a day removed from another tight win against MAAC foe Rider.
Paolo Flores, playing in the fifth singles match, clinched the outcome over the Leopards with a straight sets win. Flores added another victory in his doubles match alongside Nick Suhanitski.
The women’s tennis team defeated the Leopards 5-2 at the Marist Tennis Pavilion behind a strong showing in singles.
The Red Foxes won five out of six singles matches to set the tone for the day. Marist swept the first four singles matches with Jane Bockman and Cloe Clements winning in straight sets and Ellen Zureick and Isabella Tonuzi gutting out three-setters.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics