MAAC Championship: Marist Tops Siena to Head Back to NCAA Tournament

(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.


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