POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - While Marist College’s women’s soccer team always has perfect hair, their messy play is what gets the job done.
The women toppled reigning MAAC Champion Rider 1-0 on Saturday night, amidst braid adjustments and ponytail fixes. Capitalizing on the pressure Marist was able to maintain in Rider’s half, the lone goal came from freshman Kristen Reilly just five minutes into the game off a high-pressure long ball that soared into the back corner of the net.
“We had the talent to compete with the best of them,” said head coach Katherine Lyn. “To be able to sustain not only a goal for, but also a shutout against a team that’s been able to score consistently throughout the season, it really shows that we can be so much better than our record shows.”
This win brings the Red Foxes to a record of 2-6-1 (1-1 MAAC). Marist out-shot Rider 13-10, including 7-5 on goal.
“We had a lot of good individual performances from players today,” said assistant coach Sam Kirschenbaum. “From the starting 11 to the last kid that came onto the field, they put their heart and soul into the game.”
Leading scorer Brianna Robinson was not able to crash the box as she usually does because Rider made a point of over-guarding her. At any given point during the game, multiple Broncs surrounded Robinson. However, Robinson and teammate Juliette Loccisano were each able to achieve one shot on goal.
Rider goalkeeper Bethany-May Howard’s six saves were not enough to keep the Broncs on top. Marist’s Makala Foley saved five shots, giving the Red Foxes an imperative shutout.
Rider had an opportunity to score toward the end of the first half on a breakaway by Ellie Smith. Though she beat Marist’s back line, her individual attack on Foley yielded a wide shot.
Local ODP girls play at halftime
Between the aggressive nature of the match and a fast-paced first half, the second half of regulation was considerably more lethargic. Both teams found themselves looking for foul calls that would not come. Marist had a string of methodical corner kicks that made no mark on the scoreboard, but slowed the pace of the game. Rider was able to gain some composure with about 20 minutes remaining, shifting the field and moving the ball.
“We were lucky to have a week’s worth of rest,” said Lyn. “Getting […] time to train our weaknesses and better our strengths really allowed us to show better in this game.”
The Red Foxes will need to proceed with caution as they take on Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y. on Sept. 30. Starting defender Devon Cummings received a yellow card with 14 minutes of match play left off a disputed tackle with Rider’s Heather Maierle.
“This is a start to a good conference result,” said Lyn. “We’re […] looking to get into the tournament as a top-six team.”