On a rainy Saturday night in Poughkeepsie, the three-seed Marist men’s lacrosse team kept its playoff hopes alive with a 29-19 win over the six-seed Quinnipiac. With the win, the Red Foxes booked their ticket to a semifinal matchup against Mount St. Mary’s.
“So we’re gonna get some rest and obviously, that was up-tempo with a lot of possessions,” said Marist Head Coach Keegan Wilkinson. “We’re going to need to evaluate what we did right and what we did wrong in that first matchup with Mount St. Mary’s and go from there. We need to be disciplined and we always take a lot of pride in our preparation.”
Marist got its revenge for the 14-12 loss they suffered to Quinnipiac on March 25th. The 29-goal outburst was the highest-scoring output for Marist all season, and it came at the right time. Marist graduate student attackman Jamison Embury led all scorers with six goals on the night.
Coming into the game, the faceoff matchup was key. Quinnipiac graduate student faceoff man Dimitri George, who is second in the MAAC in faceoff percentage with a 57 win percentage, went 18 out of 48 on the day. Marist sophomore Dylan Bedell, who is fifth in the MAAC in faceoff percentage with a 51 win percentage, went 30 out of 48 on the day, a career-high.
Marist started off strong when the recently named All-MAAC second teamer Jamison Embury and recently named MAAC Offensive Player of the Year graduate student attackman JoJo Pirreca scored back-to-back goals within the first minute of action, making it 2-0 Marist. Not long after, another goal came from sophomore attackman Jake Deacy to push the Marist lead to 3-0.
Quinnipiac needed an answer and they got one from freshman long stick midfielder Ryan Downing. Marist answered quickly as Deacy added his second goal of the game off an assist from Pirreca. The Bobcats would not go away as junior midfielder Evan Perry cut the lead back down to two goals, 4-2.
This game was back and forth all night as senior attackman John Delucia and senior midfielder Jake Tellers tied the game up at four for the Bobcats with under five minutes left in the first quarter. Marist answered back very quickly, as Jamison Embury found sophomore midfielder Sam Ferrel wide open on the crease to regain the lead for the Red Foxes.
Quinnipiac responded again when Dylan Donnery scored his 30th goal of the season, tying things up at five apiece. In one of the highest-scoring first quarters of the season, Pirreca and Deacy added their second and third goals of the game to put the Red Foxes up by two. Quinnipiac added its last goal of the first quarter from Delucia with twelve seconds left to bring it within one.
The second quarter started off just like the first, but instead of Jamison Embury, it was his twin brother netting a score, as graduate student midfielder Hunter Embury used a shake-and-bake move to score and put Marist up 8-6.
Not long after, Marist added goals from graduate student midfielder James Lyons, Jamison Embury, Ferrel and Deacy (his fourth of the game). Quinnipiac finally answered back with back-to-back goals from junior midfielder Trevor Douglas, a goal from senior attackman Jake Tellers and Donnery; after the scoring barrage, Marist held a 12-10 lead.
Marist desperately needed to reestablish momentum, and fortunately for them, Lyons was up to the task, scoring with a minute and forty-five seconds left in the first half. Quinnipiac answered quickly as Perry scored with twenty seconds left in the first half. Fresh off a timeout st the 13-second mark, Jamison Embury scored with just eight seconds remaining to give Marist a 14-11 lead heading into the break.
The Red Foxes opened up the second half with goals from Jamison Embury, senior midfielder Stephen Bickel and junior midfielder Joshua Balcarcel, pushing the lead to 17-11. The Bobcats got their answer from Perry, his third of the game, cutting the lead down to five.
Marist continued to find offensive success with another pair of goals from the Embury brothers, while Perry and Donnery each gave Quinnipiac a much-needed goal; the score sat at 19-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
To open up the final frame, Pirreca decided to rejoin the goal-scoring party. Quinnipiac’s man up weapon Douglas scored his third of the game to draw the Bobcats within five, and Pirreca responded again to push the lead up to six, The teams traded goals the rest of the way, but ultimately it was Marist coming out on top, 29-19.
Marist’s defense was fueled by 11 caused turnovers and sophomore defender Aidan McCaffrey led the team with three caused turnovers on the day.
The goalie matchup was an intriguing one, with two goalies who have recently caught their stride facing off against each other. Quinnipiac graduate student goalie Nick Dimuccio finished with 11 saves on the day and 29 goals against on the day, a career worst for him. On the other side, senior Dan O’Meara of Marist finished with six saves and nineteen goals allowed in his first playoff start
“Danny has been awesome,” Wilkinson said. “That’s something that for as long as we’ve been here, we’ve always had an enormous amount of trust in our goalies and Danny stepped up in the second half and made some really, really big saves for us.”
Marist will play in the MAAC Semifinals at Manhattan College against Mount St Mary’s on Thursday, May 4; the time has yet to be announced.
Edited by Luke Sassa
Photo Credit: Marist Athletics