Despite a plethora of opportunities, Marist men’s soccer drew with Florida Atlantic Univeristy in a scoreless affair.
Fresh off a 3-1 home-opening victory over Colgate, the Red Foxes (1-1-1) entered tonight’s match looking to keep their offensive momentum rolling. The team’s two primary offensive catalysts, junior forwards Richard Morel and Jared Juleau, each chipped in a key goal in the home opener, while Juleau also assisted intriguing freshman midfielder Kyle Evans on a score.
Also aiding the Red Foxes was the return of 2022 Third Team All-MAAC defender Demarre Montoute. The redshirt senior missed the home opener due to a red card, so his return figured to give the Marist defense a boost.
Florida Atlantic (1-0-2) came into the night attempting to keep their undefeated record intact, as their season began with a victory over Lipscomb in a 6-4 shootout and continued with a 1-1 draw against Belmont. The Owls are seeking to improve from the 2022 season, which eneded with a 4-9-3 record.
The first real chance came at the end of the fifth minute. Sophomore FAU midfielder Sebastian Zettl drove in towards goal from the left side and fired off a ground ball using his left foot; the grounder rolled just to the right of the Marist goal.
Zettl received another intriguing chance to break the ice two minutes later, driving in once again from the same part of the field and this time aiming higher with his shot. Graduate student goaltender Luca Bulfon was up to the task, coming out of the net and plucking the ball out of the air to leave Zettl empty-handed once again.
Marist’s first scoring opportunity came in the 16th minute. To nobody’s surprise, Juleau got the proceedings started by intercepting a pass from the FAU defender; a series of passes amongst the Marist front gave sophomore midfielder Skyler Cunha a clean look, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
FAU’s Victor Claudel, a graduate student forward, brought the ball up just moments later and curled one in toward the bottom corner, but Bulfon made an athletic play to notch his second save of the night.
FAU earned a good look in the 24th minute when junior forward Noah Kvifte sent in a grounder on the left side from beyond the 18, but it slid just left of the post.
Marist also missed an opportunity when a goal in the 26th minute was called back after an offsides call.
Over the course of the 27th and 28th minute, a series of three consecutive unsuccessful corner kicks for the Red Foxes added to the pile of missed opportunities. Marist failed to capitalize on an intriguing chance yet again in the 33rd minute, as Montoute corralled the ball after a free kick and sent in a close-range shot from the left side, which Owls senior goalkeeper Rotem Fadida successfully deflected out of harm’s way.
The story of the first half was Marist’s offensive infrastructure failing to lead to anything tangible on the scoreboard. The Red Foxes controlled possession for large stretches and earned five corner kicks, yet had to settle for a scoreless tie at the break.
Each team came out of the gate in the second half lacking any sort of momentum, and the stalemate continued for an extended stretch.
In the 53rd minute, a yellow card on Cunha led to a free kick for FAU, producing a shot that nearly sailed over Bulfon’s head for a score but narrowly missed. The yellow card on Cunha caused Marist Head Coach Matt Viggiano to appear visibly frustrated, yet Marist escaped the sequence unscathed.
Morel made his presence known in the 55th minute, clamoring up the left side with the ball and firing off a well-placed shot that just missed. An FAU free kick in the 68th minute presented yet another scoring opportunity in the game; but resulted in a header that Bulfon successfully retrieved.
Marist fans held their breath in the 81st minute when Morel went down with what appeared to be an injury. The ascendant forward, who missed nearly 10 months of action due to an injury midway through last season, exited the game under his own power and did not return.
Perhaps the most painstakingly-close scoring opportunity came for the Red Foxes in the 88th minute when sophomore midfielder Jonathan Salguero just narrowly missed one to the left, capping off a night of missed chances.
The Red Foxes will continue their Florida road trip when they visit Florida Gulf Coast on Monday night at 7 p.m.
Edited By Marley Pope
Photo Credit: Kira Crutcher