POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - On Sunday afternoon, the Marist women's soccer team completed its impressive weekend of action as it defeated Iona 1-0. Combined with Friday's 4-1 win over Fairfield, the squad beat the first- and third-place teams in the MAAC in consecutive contests. Sophomore Amanda Epstein (Jericho, N.Y.) netted the lone goal as she scored in the 23rd minute. The goalkeeping duo of Andrea Wicks (East Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin Landsman (Burke, Va.) shut out the Gaels for Marist's fifth shutout of the year.
In a first half, that was dominated in possession and scoring chances by the Red Foxes, the host squad made sure it would have something to show for its effort as Epstein netted a 23rd minute marker. The sophomore took the ball down the left side and looked to put a shot in from close in on the end-line; after releasing her shot, the ball deflected off of a defender's foot and past the on-coming goalkeeper.
Other strong scoring opportunities for the Red Foxes in the opening period; included a Marissa Mertens (Hicksville, N.Y.) blast from 15 yards out off of an Epstein lead pass and a Chelsea Botta (East Longmeadow, Mass.) volley from close in off of a strong Rycke Guiney (Naperville, Ill.) free kick into the box.
Outside of a third minute shot on goal by Melissa Frederick, the Gaels never put any substantial offensive possessions together in the first half.
At the break, the Red Foxes had an 8-3 advantage in shots and a 4-1 margin in shots on goal.
In the second half, the story remained the same as Marist controlled the majority of possession and offensive opportunities. Within four minutes of the period's opening whistle, Samantha Panzner (Livingston, N.J.) had two looks on goal that could have possibly put the Red Foxes up further if not for saves by Iona's Trista Rivera. The junior goalkeeper for the Gaels finished with eight saves.
With Marist unable to increase its lead on the scoreboard, the defensive corps of the Red Foxes stood strong and held Iona to just two shot attempts over the final 45 minutes.
For the game, the Red Foxes outshot the Gaels 17-5, with a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal.
On the strength of Epstein's 11th career game-winning goal, the Red Foxes improved to 11-5 overall and 5-0 in the MAAC, to stay atop the conference standings. Iona falls to 5-7-3 and 3-2-1 in MAAC play.
The Red Foxes will head out on the road for a pair of MAAC contests next weekend as they matchup with Manhattan on Friday, Oct. 19 and Saint Peter's on Sunday, Oct. 21.