Men’s Soccer Can’t Keep Up With UAlbany

After game time was delayed 24 hours due to inclement weather in the Albany area, Marist Men’s Soccer returned to New York to continue their road trip to the University of Albany. This time last year, Marist beat Albany in the 2022 season 2-1.

This year, the Red Foxes would find themselves on the opposite end, as the Great Danes would best Marist by a score of 3-1.

The Red Foxes (2-2-1) were coming off a dramatic comeback victory 2-1 over Florida Gulf Coast University on Monday. The Great Danes (3-2) are looking to bounce back after a close 0-1 loss to number one ranked Syracuse University. 

After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, Marist freshman defender Nicholas Sanchez put in a cross, and forward Jonathan Salguero was open at the back post after a deflection. His shot sailed over the crossbar, and the game remained scoreless. Salguero started up top in place of junior forward Richard Morel, who is missing his second consecutive game due to injury.

Albany took an early lead in the 16th minute off a corner with a header at the back post by junior defender Tiago Dias, assisted by midfielder Alex Pechacek. 

Neither team was able to get a hold of the ball despite Albany taking the lead. Marsit struggled to build up play using direct passing often and lost possession often. The back and forth made finding rhythm difficult for both squads. 

Dias again was involved after a corner and had a shot from 10 yards out, but the ball went over the bar.

In the last 15 minutes of the first half, Albany began to retain possession and put pressure on Marist’s back line. They used hold-up play to progress forward and draw corners, where in they used their height to force Marist goalie Luca Bulfon to make several punching clearances.

Albany outshot Marist 7-1 in the first frame and had six corners to only one from the Red Foxes.

The Great Danes continued to ramp up pressure to open the second half, moving the ball side to side and using their physical strikers to be the focal point.

Albany extended their lead in the 53rd minute with another set-piece header from Dias. This time, he headed it to the far post, where it deflected into the goal. Bulfon was left to watch the ball dink into his goal.

Three minutes later, Albany broke the game open with another headed goal, this time by Dias’s partner, junior Santiago Frias. Once again, Albany found success from a set piece and now led 3-0 with a half-hour left in the match. Marist could not handle the height of the Albany team.

Marist registered their first shot on goal of the match in the 61st via Jonathan Salguero. Albany keeper Shafique Wilson made the save, maintaining his clean sheet. 

The lack of possession from Marist led to an anemic offense for most of the match. The Red Foxes looked a half-step slower than Albany.  

Marist continued to play hard and got a goal back by way of Samuel Gjokai with a headed near-post finish. Freshman midfielder Adam Rustani put in a cross, and Gjokai beat his man to cut the lead to two. 

From there, the Red Foxes turned up their urgency and saw more possession, but were unable to muster any more offense. Albany constantly pressed high and had a compact midfield, where black jerseys flocked to the ball when a Marist player received a pass.

Marist put up more shots in the second half, but the bad marking on set pieces dug too deep a hole they could not get out of.

The Red Foxes will now move into MAAC play as they travel to St. Peter’s one week from today, Sep. 16. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. in Jersey City.

Edited By Dan Aulbach

Photo Credit: Kira Crutcher

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