By Connor Giblin
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Senior goalkeeper Samuel Ilin made eight saves for Marist, but Navy’s first-half goal made the difference as the Red Foxes suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Midshipmen on Sunday afternoon at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
With the loss, Marist closes its first week of the 2021 season with a 1-1 record. Navy earns its first victory and improves to 1-0-1.
The Midshipmen controlled the first half, outshooting the Red Foxes 11-2. Baba Kallie scored the lone goal of the game in the 33rd minute. Though Marist dialed up the offensive pressure in the second half, Navy’s defense stood tall to preserve the shutout.
Senior midfielder Skylar Conway registered four of Marist’s nine shots on the afternoon. Ilin snagged five saves in the first half.
Navy’s Tyler Fahning made three saves between the pipes. Jacob Williams had a match-high six shots, three of which were on target.
In the first two minutes, Jacob Williams headed a cross from inside the box that Ilin deflected over the crossbar for his first save.
Twelve minutes in, Sydney Paris launched a free kick from under 25 yards out that pinged off the right post.
Freshman forward Richard Morel has Marist’s first shot in the 14th minute, firing one with multiple Midshipmen surrounding him and missing just wide left of the goal.
A wild sequence starting in the 27th minute gave the Midshipmen multiple chances; following a free kick just outside the box from 15 yards out, the Red Foxes blocked two Navy attempts, Ilin saved the third, a Paris header hit the left post, and then Ilin made a diving stop against JD Wagner to keep the game scoreless.
Navy’s goal came as Kallie fended off multiple Red Fox defenders to keep possession. Ilin came out of the cage to challenge Kallie, but the latter pushed the ball behind the keeper, and redshirt junior defender Demarre Montoute couldn’t clear the ball before it tricked past the end line.
In the 38th minute, senior midfielder Skylar Conway fed junior midfielder Liam Salmon at the tp of the box, but Salmon’s shot was saved.
With three minutes until halftime, Kallie broke free for a right-footed shot from 16 yards out, but Ilin made his fifth save sliding to his left off his end line.
Navy picked up a corner kick just over two minutes into the frame, but Ilin made an initial save on Paris towards the right post before the Midshipmen sent the ball out of bounds.
In the 60th minute, Conway had two chances, one a 40-yard shot from the middle and a header towards the left of the box, but couldn’t connect on either.
Senior midfielder received a throw-in from senior captain Justin Scharf in the 75th minute and immediately flicked it towards the net, but Fahning made the save.
Moments later, junior midfielder Joe Mac settled a cross near the left corner and poked a shot on Fahning, who got his mitts on it for another save.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the game, Williams secured a volley in the right corner, and turned from 20 yards out to shoot a bouncing ball that Ilin crouched down to bat away.
Moments later, Ilin leaped to his left to deny Kallie’s 15-yard shot, but Williams secured the loose ball for another attempt with Ilin out of the net. However, senior captain Huib Achterkamp raced to the end line and kept Williams’ shot from finding the lower-left corner.
“We didn’t have the legs, the urgency, or the guile to get by today. Credit to Navy for winning the majority of 50/50 balls and being the better team today,” said Head Coach Matt Viggiano.
Viggiano continued, “I thought we improved as the game went on, and know we have a good foundation on which to build. If we take the proper lessons from today, this game will serve us very well later in the campaign.”
Marist returns to New York State on Saturday, September 4th for a road match at St. John’s. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.