By Connor Giblin
BALTIMORE, MD – In both its first game in the fall and non-conference game in two years, the Marist women’s soccer program dropped a 1-0 contest to former MAAC rivals Loyola Maryland on Thursday evening at the Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Red Foxes start their 2021 campaign at 0-1, while the Greyhounds notch a season-opening victory to begin a 1-0.
Marist provided pressure all night, racking up 18 shots, including 12 in the second half.
However, Preseason All-Patriot League goalkeeper Paige Sim totaled six saves to keep the Red Foxes off the scoreboard.
Sophomore forward Amanda Caldarelli paced Marist with four shots, while junior forward Brooke Cergol, sophomore forward Bridget Dudziec, and freshman forward Christina Layden had three shots each.
Loyola’s Kelly Hutton came off the bench to tally the game’s lone goal, Grace DenBleyker providing the assist.
First half recap:
In the opening minutes, junior forward Leah Barbieri volleyed a loose ball over Sim, but the Hounds defense cleared it away before she got a second touch on the open goal.
In the 12th minute, freshman midfielder Autumn Smith used open space to launch the first shot from either side, but it sailed wide right.
Loyola’s first major opportunity came moments later on a corner that Marist couldn’t clear. With the ball flicked into the box and a Greyhound in the area, senior goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner came out of net and spun multiple times around the attacking player to ensure she couldn’t gain possession, and drew a foul to regain possession.
After a Red Fox direct kick, Loyola couldn’t corral a pinballing cross, leaving Smith to race in from 20 yards out and attempt a shot that was ultimately blocked at the 23rd minute.
Marist escaped trouble moments later when Loyola couldn’t connect on a cross and an Alex Searing header from a corner kick.
Caldarelli rocketed consecutive shots off the crossbar in the 27th minute for the Red Foxes’ closest chances at the time.
Caldarelli later fed senior forward Victoria Colatosti on the left wing, and though she beat the defense, she couldn’t tuck a shot into the far post in the 36th minute.
Layden recorded the game’s first shot on goal as her header with five minutes until halftime met the Loyola keeper’s mitts.
Second half recap:
In the 53rd minute, the Greyhounds were awarded a penalty kick following a Marist handball in the box, but Hutton’s attempt sailed over the cage to keep the score level.
Caldarelli’s third shot of the game floated just above the crossbar on a direct kick in the 57th minute.
Two minutes later, DenBleyker crossed one from the right corner into the box. The ball deflected off a Red Fox defender and bounced to Hutton, who headed it home in the 58th minute.
Moments later, Colatosti found sophomore forward Grace DiVincenzo for a left-footed one-timer, but Sim collected it off the bounce to preserve Loyola’s lead.
In the 67th minute, Kelchner made two leaping saves, first on a header near the left post, then to her right to deny DenBleyker.
In transition after Kelchner’s third save of the night, Dudziec snuck through the Greyhound defense, but shot high on the attempt in the 78th minute.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Dudziec slipped a right-corner cross to the center of the box for Cergol, whose header was picked up by Sim towards the bottom left post.
In the final moments, senior forward Kaylin Sperley was all alone with an open net towards the right post, but Sim dove to meet her just as the shot went off to keep it out. Dudziec’s ensuing opportunity went right into Sim’s breadbasket.
The Red Foxes trek down Rt. 9 for a date with Army West Point on Thursday, August 26th at 6 p.m.