(2) Quinnipiac v. (3) Marist
Marist built an 8-1 advantage after the first quarter of play but were forced to withstand an extended and forceful push from Quinnipiac to earn a hard-fought 16-14 victory against the Bobcats in the MAAC Tournament title game. The win marks the second time that the Red Foxes have progressed to the NCAA Tournament. Quinnipiac closes the book on its 2015 season with a 7-8 record, earning five wins in their final six games.
The tight final margin does not reflect the pop that Marist had right out of the gate. Jumping out to a seven-goal lead after the first period, the Foxes shot 44.44 percent and put 12 of its 18 attempts on cage, punching Quinnipiac directly in the teeth in a spot in which Marist did not appear willing to mess around. The Bobcats, meanwhile, took only five shots in the first stanza and committed three turnovers, the team unable to keep pace with the MAAC's strongest team throughout the regular season. Over the game's final 45 minutes, though, the Bobcats performed like a superior enterprise, outscoring the Red Foxes in the final three quarters, 13-8.
The split between the first quarter and the final three periods is stark:
|METRIC||QU (Q1)||MC (Q1)||METRIC||QU (Q2-Q4)||MC (Q2-Q4)|
|Offensive Shooting Rate||20.00%||44.44%||Offensive Shooting Rate||46.43%||21.05%|
|Team Save Percentage||33.33%||66.67%||Team Save Percentage||65.22%||35.00%|
|Turnover Rate||50.00||0.00||Turnover Rate||28.57||32.14|
|Offensive Efficiency||16.67||72.73||Offensive Efficiency||46.43||28.57|
|Estimated Possession Margin||-5||+5||Estimated Possession Margin||+/- 0||+/- 0|
Despite all of this, though, Marist was able to survive, its first quarter pop sustaining the Red Foxes as the clock reached its expiration. Marist is likely tabbed for a play-in game appearance this coming week, but if the Red Foxes are able to progress out of its pre-bracket requirement, Marist has the potential to cause some trouble for a strongly seeded team in the first round.
Michael Sagl led Quinnipiac with five goals on six shots, all of his attempts on-goal. Jack Brust turned away 19 shots in an impressive effort from the goalkeeper. J.D. Recor had a three-and-three afternoon for Marist while Joseph Radin had five points on three goals and two helpers.