(Photo Courtesy of Marist Athletics)
The Marist Red Foxes are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019 after knocking off Siena 12-7 in the MAAC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.
Marist’s win not only locked up the first AQ bid to the NCAA Tournament but ensured that its seven fifth-years would leave Poughkeepsie as two-time conference champions.
Joshya Balcarcel (3G/1A) had four points on the day for the Red Foxes while Jamison Embury had himself a hat trick. Daniel O’Meara made 12 saves in cage while Dylan Bedell went 10-for-21 (47%) at the faceoff dot.
Marist had used a pair of big runs to knock off Quinnipiac 29-19 in the MAAC quarterfinals last week and followed a similar script in its 19-7 win over Mount St. Mary’s to advance to Saturday’s title game.
Things were tied 2-2 after what was a very back and fourth first quarter. However, Marist would soon see its offense break loose to help the Foxes pull away and ultimately secure the five-goal victory.
Jamison Embury found the back of the net at the 12:56 mark of the second quarter to tie things up at 3-3. Embury’s score would be the first of an eventual five-goal run that lasted through the end of the frame and pulled the Red Foxes ahead 7-3. That run included a pair of man-up scores as Vinny Butrico and Jamison Embury put home scores on such instances at the 8:30 and 5:59 marks of the second quarter.
A Travis Fry man-up score off a Christian Watts feed pulled Siena back with two (7-5) with 6:08 remaining in the third quarters. Less than a minute later, however, Marist would answer via a James Lyons strike. His lone goal of the day sparked what became a five-goal run that lasted through the 4:47 mark of the game and helped the Red Foxes not only stay ahead but secure the win.
Rocco Santillo scored with 3:53 left and George Rusnak put one home on a man-up opportunity with 2:43 remaining. Those scores cut the Siena deficit to five and would be the last scores of the day. Siena would get more opportunity to make something happen with a 30-second man-up in the final minute and change but all they would get was a Pratt Reynolds shot that was stopped by Daniel O’Meara.
That final attempt was one of three man-up situations in which Siena failed to covert on as the Saint went 3-for-6 in that department on the day. Siena outshot Marist 45-43 and won the ground ball battle 31-28. The Saints went 4-for-27 in shooting during the second half of play.
Zac Schutte led Siena with four points off two goals and two assists.
Marist (10-7, 6-3 MAAC) now has four MAAC titles under Keegan Wilkinson. The Red Foxes will wait for Sunday night to see where they will be slated in the NCAA Tournament.