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Women's soccer earns top seed in MAAC Tournament

By Joe Fitzhenry
On November 1, 2012

The Marist women's soccer team gave themselves some momentum heading into the MAAC Tournament as they won a pair of 1-0 games over Loyola and Rider. The win over Rider gave the Red Foxes the MAAC Regular Season crown by virtue of their head-to-head victory over Fairfield on October 12.

Amanda Epstein scored both goals for the team over the weekend, once again proving her clutch ability for the team this season.

"Amanda Epstein has proven herself to be a 'clutch' player on the field... Amanda uses her soccer sense to be three steps ahead of the play and technically, I would go as far to say she can match up with the best players in the nation" second year head coach Kate Lyn said.

On Friday night, the first half featured strong defense from both sides with just one quality scoring chance apiece for the two teams.

In the 13th minute, Loyola's Brittany Yancey found her way through the defense before being denied by Marist keeper Andrea Wicks.

For the hosts, Epstein played a great ball up the sideline to freshman Megan McEnroe who couldn't quite get a foot on it before Greyhounds' goalie Didi Haracic intercepted the pass.

Ten minutes into the second half, Rycke Guiney took a pass from Epstein only to have her shot turned away by Haracic.

The game wouldn't remain scoreless for much longer however as Epstein was awarded a penalty kick for a Loyola handball and slid the ball into the lower right portion of the net for a 1-0 lead which would prove to be the eventual game winner.

Over the final 30 minutes of game action, the best opportunities for the Greyhounds came in the 67th and 87th minutes. Both plays involved Nichole Schiro, who for the latter chance was chased down by Marist's Kylee McIntosh who poked the ball just out of the dangerous area to keep the game in favor of the Red Foxes.

For the match, the Red Foxes outshout the Greyhounds 8-7, including a 6-3 edge in shots on target.

On the program's Senior Day on Sunday afternoon, senior keeper Caitlin Landsman came up big in net with a shutout as the team held on to defeat Rider 1-0.

Each team registered six shots apiece in the first half with once again each team registering one quality chance apiece. For the Broncs, Landsman tipped a shot from 20 yards out just over the crossbar.

As for Marist, Alycia Cartica delivered a beautiful shot that went directly off the crossbar.

The game would remain scoreless as the teams entered the locker room.  Early on in the second half, Epstein got her team on the board as she made a pretty move to beat a couple of Rider defenders for her seventh goal of the season and 13th game winner of her career.

The sophomore from Jericho, NY was named the MAAC Offensive Player

After taking the lead, the Broncs tried to play catch-up but managed only a handful of chances.

Meanwhile, senior Jackie Frey nearly made it a 2-0 contest at the 56 minute mark as she received a punt from Landsman and made a move towards the net before the ball was deflected away by a Rider defender.

When the clock hit zero, Marist fans erupted into celebration as their team clinched the MAAC regular season title and recorded a program-high 14th win of the season.

Next up for the team is the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament on Friday, November 2nd as they host the Iona Gaels at 7 p.m. at Tenney Stadium.

The Red Foxes are aiming to win their second straight MAAC Championship, after they defeated Fairfield in a nail-biting semi final last season in penalty kicks, before beating Loyola 1-0 for the win and NCAA Tournament berth.

"Getting to play at home is such an advantage. Our girls feed off the positive energy from our spectators. We lead the conference in attendance and that's no surprise," Coach Lyn said.

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