POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist men's soccer team fell in its conference opener to Manhattan in a hard-fought physical contest by a score of 1-0. A goal in the 32nd minute by the Jaspers spelled trouble for the Red Foxes as the visitors withstood a Marist onslaught that consisted of 21 shots. Senior Stephan Brossard (Port Washington, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes with five shots.
The teams began the first half by slowly feeling each other out with occasional scoring opportunities. Over the first 15 minutes, Manhattan registered three shots, while the Red Foxes took two, including an Evan Southworth (Newburgh, N.Y.) header shot on goal at 6:56.
In the 16th minute, Manhattan had a 2-on-2 breakaway thwarted away by a streaking Simon Laugsand (Sortland, Norway) as he sprinted back towards goal and poked away the Jaspers' potential shot.
The Red Foxes finally started getting its offensive feet under them after this outstanding effort as they put four challenging shots towards goal in the next 10 minutes. Following a Connor Preece (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) header went wide in the 18th minute, Brossard and Greg Davis (Jamaica, N.Y.) put the ensuing three shots on goal at Manhattan goalkeeper George Ellis. Brossard's first attempt came after receiving a Laugsand through ball over the top of the Jasper midfield and spinning by two defenders before ripping a low shot at the net. Davis' attempt was nearly as threatening as he took a flicked on pass from a Brossard corner and got off a shot from three yards out before Ellis made a diving snag.
All of the positive offensive steps that Marist had taken up to that point would be for naught in the 32nd minute when a Reese Akers tally put the visiting Jaspers up 1-0.
Marist would register five shots in the closing 13 minutes of the half, but none would find their way past Ellis.
At the half, Marist had an 11-7 advantage in shots and a 4-2 margin in shots on goal.
In the second half, the fight for MAAC win number one became increasingly intense and physical; within the first seven minutes the teams combined for five fouls. It also became obvious that Manhattan was quite content to drop back defensively and focusing on forcing difficult shots by Marist.
Over the first 25 minutes of play in the second period, the Red Foxes would unleash six shots versus one for the Jaspers. Marist's highlight shot during this span was a Brossard attempt in the 66th minute when he cut around a defender and put a shot just wide of the goalmouth and into the side netting.
In the final 20 minutes, Marist's marquis scoring opportunity was a Brossard shot that came in from outside the box and over Ellis before ringing into the crossbar.
Anthony Rozmus (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) registered the only Red Fox shot on goal in the half as he put a 30-yard free kick on goal in the 84th minute, where Ellis came up with the save.
Unfortunately for Marist, the hustle and fight that it showed throughout the 90 minutes wouldn't be enough as Manhattan held on for the 1-0 victory.
As a team, the Red Foxes outshot the Jaspers 21-12 with a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. Individually, Brossard was credited with five shots. In goal, Anthony Sokalski (London, Ontario) made three saves in defeat.
With the loss, Marist falls to 4-5-1 overall and 0-1 in the MAAC.
"I'm very disappointed in the result" head coach Matt Viggiano remarked post-game. "We beat them in every statistical category, except for the one that matters. We dug ourselves a hole by giving up a first half goal; that gave them hope and belief and the ability to drop back and play their game. We have to come out on Sunday looking to fight and earn three points in the standings. Every MAAC game comes down to who wants it more."
The Red Foxes will be back in action on Sunday when they play the Saint Peter's Peacocks in a 2 p.m. matchup.