After conceding a goal just before the half, men’s soccer rebounded down the stretch, notching a 1-1 draw with Mount St. Mary’s on a goal from junior forward Richard Morel.
The Red Foxes (3-4-3, 1-1-2 MAAC) trailed after allowing a goal to freshman midfielder Junee Lee in the 39th minute, yet they managed to even things up when Morel notched a goal for the second consecutive match in the 69th minute.
Marist arrived in Maryland with senior midfielder Jared Juleau, the team leader in points (8), missing from the lineup for a second consecutive match. While Juleau was still out, freshman midfielder Kyle Evans made his first appearance since Sept. 9, with his month-long injury absence coming to an end.
Adding to the urgency was the fact that Marist went winless in their last three matches, which consisted of one-goal losses to Navy and Manhattan and a draw with Niagara; the mediocre stretch of play dropped them to fifth in the MAAC conference standings entering the night. Mount St. Mary’s (1-6-2, 1-2-1 MAAC) came into the night having notched only one win all season, most recently losing to Saint Peter’s a week ago.
Mount St. Mary’s landed a penalty kick opportunity in the very first minute of play when Lee was brought down in the box on the right side. Junior midfielder Dominik Topolsky lined up to take the kick, sending a shot with some air under it; Marist graduate student goalkeeper Luca Bulfon guessed correctly, leaping to his right and making the impressive save.
Mountaineers senior goalkeeper Ethan Russell added a tremendous save of his own in the fourth minute. Sophomore midfielder Skyler Cunha threaded the ball up to sophomore midfielder Andrea Nguoinza who took the close-range shot from the right, but Russell reacted quickly to make the save on the ground.
In the 25th minute, graduate student defender Mackie Sacarellos brought down Cunha, leading to a Marist free kick from just beyond the 18. Cunha, facing a five-man wall, took the kick himself and sent the ball to the left of the goal, and the Red Foxes couldn’t manage to keep the ball in bounds.
With just over six minutes remaining in the first half, Lee finished off an explosive Mount St. Mary’s possession with his third goal of the season, putting the Mount up 1-0. The entire play was set up by senior midfielder Erick Villatoro, who sent a header into the middle from his spot by the right post for the assist; Lee received the ball and sent his successful shot to the left for the score.
Mount St. Mary’s missed a prime chance to double the score with two minutes remaining in the half; junior midfielder Jonathan Yowell found himself alone on the left side and he sent a strong shot that just sailed high. Yowell sent another shot from the far left wing a minute later and came up empty once again, as Bulfon raced to the middle to make the save and keep the score at 1-0 heading into the half.
Lee showcased his crafty footwork in the 56th minute, cascading up the left side and shaking off a defender before facing a one-on-one with Bulfon. Faced with a good look, Lee’s shot went high over the goal, keeping the Marist deficit at one.
Marist finally found the equalizer in the 69th minute with a goal from Morel. Redshirt senior defender Demarre Montoute made a deflected assist inside the box, which Morel corralled and deposited low for the score. Morel has started to heat up of late, scoring for the second consecutive week after a slow start to the year while returning to play from a long-term knee injury.
With four and a half minutes remaining, a long-range Mountaineers free kick from Topolsky on the right side found graduate midfielder Ammit Bhogal up near the left post; Bhogal sent a promising ground ball toward goal, but Bulfon made the diving save to preserve the 1-1 tie, which would ultimately stand up as the final
The Red Foxes will continue conference play on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when they travel back home to face the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
Edited By Marley Pope
Photo Credit: Jaylen Rizzo