POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - After two dramatic matchups in 2011, the Marist women's soccer team knew that they had to come out firing on all cylinders versus Fairfield on Friday evening as opportunities could be few and far between. Exactly 50 seconds into the game, the host Red Foxes let the Stags and the fans at Tenney Stadium know that they were ready as sophomore Marjana Maksuti (Delmar, N.Y.) put the team up 1-0. Two goals by sophomore Amanda Epstein (Jericho, N.Y.) and one by Rycke Guiney (Naperville, Ill.) would give Marist a one-time four goal lead that would be enough, as the Red Foxes won by a final margin of 4-1.
Similar to last year's meeting in Fairfield, the Red Foxes got on the board with an early marker as Maksuti started the scoring when she took a Samantha Panzner (Livingston, N.J.) corner kick and headed it home just 50 seconds into the game. This tally improved on last year's quick Jackie Frey (Monroe, N.Y.) goal at 1:56 versus the Stags.
Marist continued keeping the pressure on Fairfield as Epstein converted a penalty kick low past Fairfield's Kathleen Early in the 19th minute, after Maksuti drew a foul in the box.
Guiney extended the Red Fox lead to 3-0 in the 33rd minute when she blasted a free kick restart from beyond 25 yards into the upper right 90.
At the half, Marist had a 10-4 advantage in shots and a 4-2 margin in shots on goal.
After the break, another quick goal at 47:39 would put the Red Foxes up by four. The scoring drive began with senior Chelsea Botta (East Longmeadow, Mass.) playing the ball in from the wing to Guiney, who flicked it on to a waiting Epstein.
Marist nearly pushed its lead to five, as both Epstein and Maksuti tested Early in net.
Finally, in the 78th minute with the benefit of a foul call in the box, Fairfield's Nikki Stanton converted a penalty kick to make the score 4-1.
With one shot between the two teams over the final 12 minutes, the game between the top two teams in the MAAC standings would go final at 4-1.
For the game, Marist outshot Fairfield 14-7 and 7-4 in on goal opportunities. Sophomore Andrea Wicks (East Northport, N.Y.) made three saves in victory.
With the win, the Red Foxes improve to 10-5 overall and 4-0 in MAAC play, while Fairfield falls to 7-4-2 and 4-1 in conference.
Historically, Rycke Guiney moved into third place all-time with 49 career points on 16 goals and 17 assists. Amanda Epstein also continued climbing up the all-time leaderboards, as she became the seventh-ever Red Fox to score 40 points (15g-10a). Epstein also was credited with her 10th career game-winning goal. In an amazing ratio, she's been on the field for 20 wins in her first two years and netted game-winners in 50 percent of those games.
The Red Foxes will be back in action on Sunday versus Iona in a home contest that is slated to begin at 1 p.m.