JERSEY CITY, NJ – Earning your first conference victory is always sweet. Earning your first conference victory for the first time in over three years against one of the top teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is even sweeter. That is exactly what the Saint Peter's women's soccer team did on Wednesday afternoon at Joseph J. Jaroschak Field when the Peacocks defeated Marist College 1-0. The MAAC win for the Peacocks is the first since the team defeated Canisius 3-1 on September 18, 2014. Saint Peter's victory over Marist was also the first conference loss of the year for the Red Foxes and the first win for the Peacocks over the Red Foxes since the 2012 season. The Peacocks MAAC mark improves to 1-3 on the year.
"Words cannot describe the feeling at the final whistle," said head coach Melissa Sherwood describing her first career MAAC win. "I am so, so, immensely proud of my players. They have given me absolutely everything from the minute I walked through the door here. Their character, attitude, application, everything. You need grit to be a Peacock and these players have that in abundance. Today's result is nothing short of what they deserve. They absolutely deserve it."
The game-winning goal for the Peacocks was scored by team point leader, junior Barbara Paiva in the 56' in the second half.
The Peacocks played an aggressive and controlling game for the entire 90 minutes. In the first half one minute into the game, Paiva's first shot attempt was stopped by Marist goalkeeper Francesca Guzzo. Marist first shot on goal came at 6' off of Erica Crosier's shot that was stopped by a diving Victoria Scarratt. The Peacocks had the next two opportunities to score at the 9' point off of a Paiva shot and at the 11' mark on Elizabeth Pacillo's shot, with both attempts being saved by Guzzo. At 16:21 after Paiva was tackled in the box, the Peacocks had their best opportunity to take the lead with the team's best player taking the penalty kick. Unfortunately, Paiva's kick sailed high over the crossbar keeping the contest knotted at 0-0. Late in the half, Isabel Fernandez got a clean look at the goal, but the shot went straight to Guzzo for the stop, taking a scoreless match into the break. The Peacocks had a 9-7 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes of play.
In the second half, the Peacocks began on the defense, as Marist got off the first three shots of the half within the first 10 minutes while the Peacocks had zero. At 56' the Peacocks goal came on a feed from Nazae Craw into the box where Paiva recovered the pass, made a dribble move passed the defender, and sent a floater over the outstretched arm of Guzzo, giving the Peacocks the 1-0 lead. Three minutes after the goal, the Peacocks kept their foot on the gas, taking the next four straight shots over the course of the next 10 minutes while Marist logged none. The Peacocks had one last opportunity to extend the lead with around five minutes remaining but Paiva's shot hit the top crossbar, then off of the rebound Paiva's shot went high over the crossbar, still giving the Red Foxes life. Marist had one late chance for the equalizer, but Scarratt made the effortless save at 86:46, preserving the shutout win.
The Peacocks outshot Marist for the game, 18-14, making Marist the first opponent that the Peacocks has logged more shots than the entire season. Scarrat made five saves in the win, earning her second career shutout victory. The Peacocks were led offensively by Paiva who registered a game-high seven shots with four coming on goal. Carlee Gonzalez added four shots and Pacillo recorded three with two on goal for the Peacocks.
The Peacocks return to the turf on Wednesday, October 4, when the squad travels to Manhattan for a 7pm night kick-off.