Women's soccer stays unbeaten in MAAC play
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:10
The Marist women’s soccer team has enjoyed great success over the last few weeks, as they are sitting pretty at 5-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
Over the weekend, a pair of victories over two top challengers, Fairfield and Iona, helped the Red Foxes to get to that perfect record in league play with four games remaining. Marist defeated Fairfield by a score of 4-1 and edged out the Gaels of Iona, 1-0.
“There’s definitely a lot of confidence,” said head coach Kate Lyn. “We’re all realizing that it’s possible to go 9-0 if we put our minds to it. Beating Fairfield and Iona in the same weekend shows how much determination we have.”
On Friday night, the Stags came into the game sitting on top of the MAAC at 4-0 in league, a half a game ahead of the Red Foxes, who began play at 3-0.
However, any doubt over who the better team was on this night would be quickly erased, as sophomore Marjana Maksuti headed home Samantha Panzner’s corner kick just 50 seconds into the match.
The goal would prove to set the tone for the remainder of the night, as Amanda Epstein was given a penalty kick at the 19-minute mark and put it in the back of the net for an early 2-0 advantage.
Fairfield keeper Kathleen Early was tested early and often in this one, without too much help from her defense early on. Following a restart, junior Rycke Guiney made it 3-0 with a direct kick from 25 yards out at 33 minutes.
At the halfway point of the match, Marist held a 10-4 advantage in total shots along with a 4-2 edge in shots on goal.
With just 2:39 into the final stanza, Guiney delivered a cross to Epstein, who beat Early for her second goal of the afternoon and opened up a 4-0 lead.
The Stags would put their only goal of the night on the board at the 78-minute mark, as Nikki Stanton booted home a penalty kick to account for the final margin of 4-1.
For the match, Marist outshot Fairfield 14-7, including 7-4 in shots on goal. Andrea Wicks recorded three saves for the Red Foxes in net.
Hoping to complete the weekend sweep on Sunday afternoon, the Red Foxes rode a goal from Epstein at 23 minutes, and the goaltender duo of Wicks and Caitlin Landsman, to the 1-0 victory over Iona.
Iona had a chance early on with a shot by Melissa Frederick, but that would be about it in a first half dominated by the Red Foxes.
Marissa Mertens and Chelsea Botta would each put shots of their own on net in the opening frame, but the Red Foxes couldn’t break through until Epstein scored the game-winning goal. She now has 11 game-winning goals in her career.
The Jericho, NY native brought the ball down the left side and released a shot from close in on the end line that would deflect off an Iona defender’s foot, and slip past oncoming goalie Trista Rivera.
“It’s hard to describe what she does mean, beyond just her ability,” Lyn said of Epstein. “She’s a great teammate. Her teammates respect her and a part of her success is because her teammates are constantly helping her and playing off of her so well.”
Rivera would finish with eight saves on the afternoon, as she denied a pair of shots by Panzner in the second half.
On the other side, the Gaels would muster just two shot attempts in the second half and would finish with just one shot on goal for the match.
The Red Foxes will return to action on Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m., when they travel to Manhattan to take on the Jaspers.