Women’s Soccer Squanders Opportunities Against Mount St. Mary’s

On a wet afternoon in Poughkeepsie, Marist women’s soccer (2-7-3, 2-3-1 MAAC) let the game slip away, falling 2-0 to Mount St. Mary’s (3-6-3, 3-2-1 MAAC) on Saturday.

The Red Foxes’ offensive struggles continue to determine the course of their season after a strong first-half performance was washed away by an effective Mountaineers second-half.

After suffering a 4-0 takedown three days ago against Sienna, the Red Foxes knew a big effort was necessary to get a different result today. Marist’s scoring inability this year was magnified in the Sienna loss, failing to record a shot on goal.

“We knew we didn’t play well on Wednesday,” said Marist head coach Nicole Pacapelli. “We talked about coming ready to play and getting one more of everything: one more shot, cross, tackle. We needed a bit more from everybody.”

Three minutes into today’s contest, Marist graduate student midfielder Grace Hotaling put a low cross in for graduate student forward Brooke Cergol. The striker tipped the ball on net, forcing a save from Mountaineers graduate student goalkeeper Klil Keshwar and breaking the undesirable streak.

Marist maintained an energetic pace during the beginning of the match, looking more fluid and in sync on the ball than they had in their previous four home matches. They moved the ball up quickly for counterattacks which activated wing play, a focus in their offense. The Red Foxes were also willing to get involved in the physical part of the game, getting called for nine fouls in the first half.

Hotaling found herself on a breakaway in the 26th minute after her touch bounced off her defender and opened up space for her ahead. The shot from the top of the box didn’t have much pace behind it, and Keshwar made a simple save. 

Two minutes later, senior defender Samantha Caldarelli was played in behind the Mountaineers’ back line by senior midfielder Chance Hendricks. Caldarelli cut inside of her defender and took a shot aimed at the top left corner, forcing Keshwar to reach out and concede a corner.

Mount St. Mary’s didn’t show much of their offensive game until the last five minutes of the first half, when Mountaineers junior defender Emily Streett launched the ball into the Marist box from the 20-yard line, which required Marist sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Catalanotti to make a leaping catch.

The Mountaineers built on their late offensive surge, putting crosses and numbers into the Marist penalty area. Graduate student forward Madison Bee played a give-and-go, setting herself up from less than 18 yards out, but couldn’t land a shot on target. However, Mount St. Mary’s had something to build off entering the locker room.

At halftime, Marist led the shot count 6-3 and 4-1 for shots on goal.

In the second half, Marist didn’t look like the same team that controlled much of the first 45. The slippery conditions made clean passes and clearances challenging, and the disruption to Marist’s rhythm allowed the Mountaineers to impose their game on the Red Foxes.

“It’s hard elements to handle, and a bad touch can go anywhere,” said Pacapelli. “We had the wind with us in the second half, which sometimes made it more difficult.”

In the 71st minute, Mountaineer senior forward Alexa Dragisics dribbled into some space after a throw-in and found the onrushing freshman midfielder Erin Antone. The freshman took one touch into the box and slid the ball past Catalanotti to record her first collegiate goal.

“We weren’t good enough in a transition moment, and they took advantage of it,” said Pacapelli.

Just five minutes later, a Mountaineers corner driven low towards the near post was tipped by Streett and ended up inside the far post, giving Mount St. Mary’s a 2-0 lead.

Marist looked defeated and frustrated after giving up two quick goals. The Red Foxes pushed to try to get some offensive possession. Graduate student defender Samantha Sturno recorded Marist’s first shot attempt of the half in the 80th minute, putting a free kick from the 25-yard line on net and forcing a save from Keshwar.

With five minutes to go, the Red Foxes generated another opportunity from a set piece. The ball fell for junior midfielder Lauryn Schmidt, who put it on target but was blocked easily by the imposing six-foot-two-inch frame of Keshwar.

Marist ran out of time and failed to score at home for the fourth time in five attempts and have yet to hold the lead at Tenney Stadium.

The Red Foxes have another quick turnaround, matching up against first-place Quinnipiac on Wednesday. Now sitting at eighth in the MAAC, two spots out of the playoffs, Marist needs to start finding the back of the next to avoid an early end to their season.

Edited by Aidan Lavin

Photo Credit: Jaylen Rizzo

Graphic: Cara Lacey

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