ORLANDO, Florida – The Marist men’s soccer team (7-8-2, 5-3-2) enters the 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships as the no. 3 seed and will face a local rival in no. 6 Siena at 11 a.m. Nov. 6 to kick off a full day of action at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Red Foxes earned a first round bye while the Saints blanked no. 11 Niagara, 1-0, in the first game of the tournament Nov. 5.
Marist played the regular season champion Monmouth Hawks to a 2-2 draw in the 2015 regular season finale Oct. 31 in Tenney Stadium to earn third place in the conference. The Red Foxes have won the MAAC title each time they have been the no. 3 seed in the tournament, earning the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Championships in 2000, 2004, and 2005.
Magical History in Disney
Marist has reached the MAAC Championship quarterfinals twice under head coach Matt Viggiano, and the tournament was held in Orlando both years. In 2007, Marist outshot Fairfield 14-8 but fell in to the Stags, 3-1, to end its season. The Red Foxes defeated Niagara in the 2011 quarterfinals, advancing on penalty kicks after four scoreless periods. Current assistant coach Krystian Witkowski ’12 had four shots, including one on goal, in the contest.
Marist has 16 underclassmen on the roster, the most since 2006 when there were the same number. Freshmen Cameron Harr and Simon Lund Jorgensen are the team’s top scorers with eight and four goals, respectively. Harr ended the regular season second in the MAAC in scoring and third in goals per game (0.47). All four goals from Jorgensen have come on penalty kicks, as he is 4-for-5 this season.
Great In Goal
After preserving a 1-0 win at Niagara on Oct. 28, sophomore Mark Rajovic tied Mike Valenti for first place in program history with his 11th career shutout. Rajovic blanked seven opponents last season and has posted four more shutouts in his sophomore season. He led the MAAC with 4.31 saves per game and was second with 69 saves at the end of the regular season.
Sophomore Tyler Utheim made his collegiate debut in the Red Foxes’ last match against Monmouth on Oct. 31. He made nine saves, including one in each overtime period, to preserve a tie and was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. After his performance, Marist led the conference in total saves with 78.
Scouting No. 6 Siena
The Saints entered the postseason having not lost in three contests before beating Niagara in the first round. During the regular season, Siena finished second in the MAAC in shots with 243 (13.5 per game) and fourth in assists with 23 (1.28 per game). The Saints have drawn 35 more corner kicks than any other team in the conference, but have also been called for being offside the most in the MAAC.
Junior forward Junior Rosero is the team’s leading scorer while classmate Peter Gadze netted the lone goal from 25 yards out in Siena’s first round win over Niagara earlier today. Sophomore Gianni Carillo made five stops in the win.
Regular Season Matchup
A penalty kick goal in the 27th minute from Siena junior Danilo Markovic was the only score of the match, as the Saints defeated Marist, 1-0, on Oct. 21 in Tenney Stadium. The Red Foxes owned a 10-1 edge in corner kicks and fired a season-high 27 shots, but Carillo made 10 saves. Carillo would later finish the regular season second in the MAAC with an .811 save percentage.
Marist and Siena last met in the postseason in 2003 when the Red Foxes won 3-0 in the quarterfinal round of the MAAC Championships.
With a win over Siena, the Red Foxes will play the winner of the other quarterfinal game between no. 2 Rider and #10 Quinnipiac. The other quarterfinal match featuring the Broncs and the Bobcats will begin at 11:15 a.m. Nov. 6 and air on ESPN3.
Full Tournament Schedule
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5 (Opening Round)
Game 1: #6 Siena 1 - #11 Niagara 0
Game 2: #7 Canisius 0 - #10 Quinnipiac 1
Game 3: #8 Saint Peter’s vs. #9 Manhattan 2 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6 (Quarterfinals)
Game 4: #3 Marist vs. #6 Siena 11 a.m.
Game 5: #2 Rider vs. #10 Quinnipiac 11:15 a.m. ESPN3
Game 6: #4 Fairfield vs. #5 Iona 2 p.m.
Game 7: #1 Monmouth vs. Winner Game 3 2:15 p.m. ESPN3
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8 (Semifinals)
Game 8: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7 11 a.m. ESPN3
Game 9: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 2 p.m. ESPN3
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9 (Championship)
Game 10: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9 12 p.m. ESPN3