POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Coming into their MAAC home opener versus Siena, the Marist women's soccer team had registered three consecutive outings with 20 or more shots; on Saturday night the Red Foxes decided to let its offense go to the next level as they unleashed 35 shots towards the Saints' goal. Although dominate in the statistics and time of possession, the Red Foxes were denied on their first 28 shots before finally finding the back of the net in the 69th minute via a Rycke Guiney (Naperville, Ill.) goal. An Amanda Epstein (Jericho, N.Y.) marker less than four minutes later would serve as the eventual game-winner as Marist earned its third MAAC win of the year with a 2-1 victory.
The tone of the game was set early as the Red Foxes would register 10 shots within the first 20 minutes of the opening half. Alycia Cartica (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.), Melanie Rigo (Huntington, N.Y.) and Epstein all had scoring chances denied by Siena's Taylor Booth during this span of play. Numerous shots and athletic saves by Booth would be the story in the first half.
Cartica, who had a nose for the goal throughout the game, was both a facilitator and shooter in Marist's two most dangerous scoring chances over the final 25 minutes of the first period. In the 22nd minute, she sprinted down the sideline with the ball and connected with Epstein in the box; the sophomore forward was able to dance around and make space before dropping the ball off to a waiting Samantha Panzner (Livingston, N.J.), who ripped a shot on goal. Less than eight minutes later, Cartica and Rigo generated back-to-back shots on goal as Cartica's initial shot was deflected away by Booth before Rigo collected the rebound and put her own shot on the goalkeeper.
Towards the latter portion of the first half, Siena's offense started to find some footing as the Saints put their first two shots on goal; both were saved by goalkeeper Andrea Wicks (East Northport, N.Y.).
At the half, Marist was outshooting Siena 19-4 with an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal.
In the second half, the Red Foxes continued with its full-throttle offensive attack. Their persistence nearly paid off in the 52nd minute when Marissa Mertens (Hicksville, N.Y.) headed a Panzner corner kick past Booth, but unfortunately not past the last Saints' defender, who was positioned on the goal-line.
The game was still scoreless until the 69th minute when Epstein crossed in a pass to Guiney from the right wing. Guiney quickly composed herself and beat Booth for the game's first goal at 68:56.
The lead was short-lived as Siena quickly responded, 77 seconds later, with a Caitlin Cahalan feed to Michelle Yanniello along the mouth of the goal.
Though, slightly more than 77 seconds, the Red Foxes notched their second tally and eventual game-winner 2:04 later. The scoring drive began with a Rigo blast on goal from 30 yards out that was saved by Booth, but bobbled away to an opportunistic Epstein, who volleyed the loose ball in from less than two yards out.
Siena had no answer for Epstein's goal over the final 16 minutes of play and the game would go final at a score of 2-1.
This was Epstein's second straight game-winning goal over the Saints as she earned Marist a walk-off overtime victory in the final game of the 2011 regular season.
For the game, the Red Foxes outshot the Saints, 35-8, with a 14-5 margin in shots on goal. Marist also had a decisive advantage in corner kicks at 10-2. Individually, Cartica finished with 10 shots, while Guiney took six. Wicks earned her seventh win of the season with four saves in goal.
With the win, Marist improves to 9-5 overall and 3-0 in the MAAC.
The Red Foxes will be off for six days before hosting Fairfield in a game featuring a pair of teams near the top of the MAAC through the early goings on of conference play on Oct. 12. Friday's kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.