Women's soccer completes sweep in Buffalo
The Marist women's soccer team swept the Buffalo schools in the MAAC this past weekend, defeating Canisius 1-0 and Niagara by a score of 3-1. The wins improve Marist to 8-5 overall and 2-0 in league play.
On Friday night, sophomore Marissa Mertens netted her first career goal to provide the only tally of the evening for either side. The Red Foxes would put six shots on target in the opening stanza, led by sophomore Amanda Epstein, who had two.
Early in the second half, junior Samantha Panzner saw her attempt go off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless for the time being. Just a few minutes later at 55:36, Rycke Guiney delivered a corner kick into the box that Mertens headed past Golden Griffins keeper Megan Tock for a 1-0 lead. The hosts would manage just one shot on net over the final 35 minutes of action, as Andrea Wicks denied Katie Griffin at the 83-minute mark.
"Marissa Mertens has been incredible ever since the day she stepped foot on campus last year. It was only a matter of time before she started to show her abilities in the attack," head coach Cait Lyn said.
For the match, the Red Foxes held a 20-8 advantage in total shots, including an 8-5 advantage in shots on target.
The team returned to the pitch on Sunday afternoon and exploded for three goals in an 3-1 decision over the Purple Eagles of Niagara. Niagara would get on the board first, as Catherine Meyer took a cross from Jamie Raepple and put it past Wicks for her third goal of the season.
The lead didn't last too long though, as Panzner rocketed one from 23 yards out that hit off the post and bounced in to even the score at 1-1 at 18:09 of the first half.
Just four minutes later, Marist would take a lead they wouldn't relinquish as Panzner served one in the box to sophomore Marjana Maksuti, who used her jumping ability to score the goal that gave her team the 2-1 edge.
The play was relatively even for the remainder of the half, with Niagara putting two shots on Wicks that she saved.
Maksuti and the rest of the Red Foxes came out firing in the second half, as the team took five shots over the first 12 minutes of the frame. The final margin would be accounted for at 57:28 as Epstein delivered a cross to Maksuti, who headed it past the Purple Eagles keeper for her second goal of the afternoon and third of the season.
Wicks was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts over the weekend. The junior goalkeeper earned the honor for the first time in her career and received the award for giving up just one goal in the sweep of Canisius and Niagara.
Wicks made five saves in the team's MAAC opener, the Red Foxes' shutout of Canisius, and added four more to her weekend total against Niagara, while giving up just one goal.
Wicks joins teammates senior defender Chelsea Botta and senior goalkeeper Caitlin Landsman, as Red Fox players to receive the award this season.
Marist sits in a tie for first place in the standings, with only the Red Foxes and the Fairfield Stags sitting with 2-0 records. Manhattan is also undefeated with a 1-0 record, one half game behind the two leaders.
Marist will return home to host their rivals the Siena Saints this Saturday night at 7 p.m..
"First and foremost, we need to keep the girls healthy. Illnesses are among us so we need to make sure they get proper hours of rest and hydration throughout the day," Lyn said.
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