POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist water polo team, the second seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament, fell in a tough 5-4 defeat to third-seeded Wagner Saturday afternoon in the semifinals at the McCann Natatorium.
Marist (18-19, 10-2 MAAC) got goals from Desiree Desaulniers (Orlando, Fla.), Kelly Kline (Reading, Pa.), Jessica Hamby (Sacramento, Calif.) and Jaclyn Puccino (San Diego, Calif.). Puccino also added two assists while Robyn Crabtree (Cutler Bay, Fla.) and Anna-Lena Hathaway (Pasadena, Calif.). Rebecca Thomas (Cape Town, South Africa) made 13 saves in net for the Red Foxes.
The two teams traded goals in the first quarter. Desaulniers answered for Marist following an early Wagner goal to tie the score at one with 5:17 remaining in the period.
Wagner scored early in the second quarter to regain a one-goal advantage.
After a Seahawks' turnover with 10 seconds remaining in the half, Anna-Lena Hathaway found Kline, who buried her shot to tie the score with two seconds remaining and send the teams into the break knotted at 2-2.
In the third quarter, Wagner gained the first two-goal lead of the game, scoring twice in the opening three minutes to jump ahead 4-2.
It did not take long for the Red Foxes to answer however as, with a Wagner player excluded, Puccino found Jessica Hamby for a goal to cut the deficit to one at 4-3.
The Seahawks again took a two-goal advantage early in the fourth quarter. With 2:48 remaining, Robyn Crabtree found Puccino with a cross-pool pass for another score with a Wagner player excluded to make it a one-goal game at 5-4.
Marist could not, however, put together a strong scoring opportunity after that.
The Red Foxes will face the fourth seed Villanova in the consolation game Sunday at noon. Top seeded Iona will face Wagner at 2 p.m. in the championship game.