Men’s Soccer Prevails Over Colgate in Home Opener

Looking for a bounce-back win after a season-opening road loss to Hofstra, Marist Men’s Soccer (1-1) defeated Colgate by a score of 3-1 in front of a sizable home crowd at Tenney Stadium.

The home opener marked Head Coach Matt Viggiano’s 17th at the helm; this year, he finds himself leading a team seeking to improve upon a difficult 2022 season. A year ago, the Red Foxes surprisingly missed the MAAC Tournament on the heels of their Conference Championship in 2021, and this was largely attributed to narrow losses and untimely player absences from the lineup.

Last season’s struggles, paired with the narrow 1-0 road loss to Hofstra to start non-conference play created a sense of urgency for Marist. The season-opener saw new goalkeeper, graduate student Luca Bulfon, notch 10 saves. However, the offense failed to muster any offense while Third-Team All-MAAC defender and redshirt senior Demarre Montoute received a red card.

Colgate (1-1) came into the game looking to capitalize on Montoute’s absence from the back line and build upon their season-opening 2-0 win over Siena. The Raiders, who play in the Patriot League, made their conference’s championship tournament in 2022 but were eliminated in the quarterfinal round, also leaving them with room for improvement this season.

The scoring got underway at the top of the 13th minute when Marist junior forward Jared Juleau weaved his way up the left side of the pitch, advancing the ball deep inside the box and at one point putting the nearest Colgate defender on skates with his movement. From there, he found Kyle Evans and the freshman midfielder finished the job from close range, burying the ball high past senior Raiders goalkeeper Andrew Cooke.

Juleau’s contribution was nothing new, as he led the Red Foxes in points and was tied for the team lead with 5 assists in 2022. 

Junior forward Jared Juleau shakes off a defender during men’s soccer’s 3-1 victory over Colgate. (Photo credit: Kira Crutcher)

For Evans, the goal marked his first score at the collegiate level. The Rock Hill, NY native played for the New York Red Bulls academy for seven years and was highly rated by professional scouts coming into Marist, rendering him an exciting young prospect for this Red Fox team.

“He’s a talented freshman, and he’s a hard worker,” Viggiano said. “When guys work hard, you like to see them get rewarded for it.”

Marist doubled their lead four minutes later on a gorgeous free kick set piece, which came after a yellow card on Colgate senior defender Ryan Leask from just outside the box. Sophomore midfielder Skyler Cunha struck the free kick and bent it around the wall of defenders to junior forward Richard Morel, who emerged on the right side and bumped it in for his first score of the year. 

The score marked a nice return to form for Morel, who burst onto the scene his sophomore year, scoring 4 goals in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury.

“It felt amazing after being out for 10 months now, almost,” Morel said. “Just being back, it feels great, it’s a good feeling again.”

A freekick opportunity in a similar location on the opposite side of the field during the 19th minute gave the Raiders a chance to cut the deficit, but junior midfielder Mason Pahule drilled the ball directly into the wall of Marist defenders; the 2-0 Marist lead would ultimately stand through the half.

Marist came out the gate in the second half playing aggressively, with freshman midfielder Adam Rustami getting an early scoring opportunity and unsuccessfully launching a medium-range shot that ended up just above the crossbar.

Colgate eventually cut the deficit to one in the 54th minute. A pass by freshman defender Connor Cates ricocheted off of the outstretched Bulfon and right in front of 2022 All-Patriot League Second Team forward Aidan Davock, who netted his first score of 2023.

Much of the second half saw the Red Foxes defend their goal while trying to preserve the lead. Marist looked to put the icing on the cake with just over 10 minutes remaining when Juleau delivered a slicing ball away from Cooke, but the Colgate goalkeeper was up to the task, stretching out to his right to make the acrobatic save and keep the deficit at one.

Colgate couldn’t keep Juleau from scoring forever, as he finally got one of his own a minute and a half later when he tapped one in from close range. The score put Marist up 3-1 and essentially secured the victory.

“We wanted to come in here and get a win… I wanted to do everything I could do to get a win,” Juleau said. “We just wanted to be prepared, and luckily I got another goal and we finished off the game.”

Viggiano was pleased with what he saw from his veteran leaders in Juleau and Morel, commending them for their excellence, which he’d come to expect.

“You’ve got two upperclassmen, and they’ve been through the wars,” Viggiano said. “This is like the third time we’ve played this team within a calendar year, so we kind of knew what to expect.”

The Red Foxes will look to keep things rolling as they embark on a road trip that begins this Friday in Boca Raton, Florida when they take on Florida Atlantic University at 7 p.m.

Edited by Marley Pope

Photo Credit: Kira Crutcher

Leave a Reply