Marist water polo entered the final weekend of their regular season with a packed three-game weekend down in New Rochelle, NY. The Red Foxes came in ranked in the top 25 for the first time since Feb. 22.
They started off with two wins on Saturday versus Mount St. Mary’s University and St. Francis Brooklyn by scores of 14-9 and 16-10. The Red Foxes finished their regular season with a 12-9 win over Iona University.
Game one began with a back-and-forth first quarter, ending with the Mount in front 3-2. Senior Shinae Carrington and Sophomore Rachel Dean got the Red Foxes on the board.
In the second quarter, the Mountaineers added to their lead with two goals from graduate student Annefleur ten Bloemendal. Down 5-2, Marist went on a huge run to end the first half. Two goals from graduate student Viktoria Orlova, in addition to scores from Kaylee Brard and Paige Naegle, gave the Red Foxes a 6-5 lead at the break.
Moving to the second half, Marist would not give up their lead by virtue of sophomore Ella Baumgarten scoring twice to start the third quarter. The Mount would respond, however, with freshman utility Anna Kegel and sophomore Rebecca Valentine cutting the lead to 8-7. With less than 10 seconds remaining in the third period, Dean tallied another, and Marist went into the fourth quarter up 9-7.
In the final period, Marist again went on a run, this time scoring three straight goals from Senior Fallon Burnworth, Orlova, and Brard. The Mount responded with Kegel with under four minutes remaining, but it was not enough. Naegle scored again and junior Lauren Kwan added a score to seal the victory for the Red Foxes by a score of 14-9.
In game two, Marist moved out to a three-goal lead thanks to Carrington, Baumgarten, and senior attacker Katie Gill. After a goal from Marist senior India Alter, the Terriers responded in the final minute with goals from Tate Renata and Mia Leto to be down 4-3 after the opening quarter.
After trading goals to begin the second quarter, the Red Foxes went on a three-goal spurt to finish the half. Marist now led 8-4 courtesy of Gill, Brard, and Naegle.
Sophomore utility Victoria Padilla opened the scoring for Marist in the third quarter extending their lead to five. St. Francis got one back with Renata netting another, but Marist’s Rachel Dean scored on the other end just 13 seconds later. Padilla would score again, putting the Red Foxes up 11-5 with 3:30 left in the third. Sophomore Terrier Sydney DeVroedt scored three goals to finish the period, with Orlova getting one back for Marist in between. The Red Foxes moved to the fourth leading 12-8.
The Terriers continued their comeback in the fourth, scoring two straight from junior utility Anja Miskovic. Carrington ended the run and put Marist up 13-10. From there, Marist locked down on defense and blanked the Terriers to end the game. Baumgarten, senior Emilie Gerhard, and freshman Makaelee Hansberger added scores to finish the game.
The Red Foxes’ final game of the regular season came against the Gaels on their senior day. The last time these teams played, Marist edged out in a 16-15 overtime victory. There was a high energy and intensity to this game that brought physicality right out of the gate.
Orlova scored the first goal of the game twisting away from her defender at the 6:23 mark. On the powerplay, Freshman Lola Trujillo fired a shot past Marist goalie Inés Sanchez to tie the match for the Gaels halfway through the period.
Graduate student Jordan Van Reeken put Iona in front, but Carrington netted a goal on the powerplay 20 seconds later. Orlova added a second goal with 2:30 left. Freshman attacker Sadie Sallas responded, again on the powerplay for the Gaels. The first quarter ended deadlocked at three.
Once again Orlova opened the scoring in quarter two, scorching a shot past Gaels goalie Lilly Morris. Baumgarten netted her first off a pass from Carrington with five minutes remaining in the half.
After an Iona timeout, Van Reeken finished another power-play goal with 3:30 left. Freshman attacker Jenna Handali scored in transition for the Gaels and tied the game at five.
Senior Emilie Gerhard pushed Marist back in front with 1:30 left. After a save from Morris, a hectic first half ended with Marist leading 6-5.
Van Reeken scored the first goal of the second half in the opening minute. After an exclusion call that made the Iona bench stand up in protest, Orlova deposited a shot in the top corner at the 6:02 mark. Junior Kaylee Brard lobbed a shot over Morris and Marist now led 8-6. Handali got one back for Iona during their powerplay.
Off a steal, Burnworth finished a breakaway chance with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
Marist head coach Chris Vidale called a timeout to set up his powerplay defense. Iona was 4-for-8 on the powerplay up until that point. They continued their success when Handali scored her third of the day with 1:48 remaining.
Vidale called another timeout to regroup his team to finish the quarter strong. Neither team scored and they moved to the final quarter with Marist up 9-8.
Van Reeken cooly slotted a penalty shot to tie the game at 9 in the first half minute of the fourth quarter. Marist quickly answered with a power play goal by Brard.
After several empty possessions by both teams, Orlova gathered a missed shot and put it home to push Marist’s lead to two with 4:52 left in the game.
Iona utilized a timeout as it tried to mount a comeback.
Utility Victoria Padilla finished a powerplay goal and put Marist in a comfortable position, up three with four minutes remaining.
Marist played great defense to finish the game. Reigning MAAC defensive player of the week Ines Sanchez made several big saves, including while Iona was on the powerplay. The Red Foxes finished the regular season with a 12-9 victory.
They finish the season with a 23-9 record overall and a dominant 12-1 in MAAC play.
Up next are the MAAC championships, hosted by Marist from Apr. 28-Apr. 30.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane
Photo from Marist Athletics via Stockton Photo