LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Alex Grattarola’s 83rd minute goal completed a late two-goal Canisius comeback as the Golden Griffins rallied to tie Siena Soccer 3-3 at Siena Turf Field. Freshman back Cameron Allen, junior striker Alexander Tejera and senior striker Junior Rosero scored for the Saints which are unbeaten in seven of their last nine matches.
The teams combined for 41 shots – 16 of which were on target – in a match that was not devoid of offense. Siena (7-7-3, 5-2-1) led by two with just over 20 minutes remaining in regulation, and could have secured a MAAC Tournament berth with a win and some help, but had to settle for a hard fought tie while nonetheless earning a key conference point to hold onto their third place position in the standings.
Allen opened the scoring in the 20th minute, blasting home his first career marker off the setup from Rosero who tallied a match-high three points. The Saints controlled play in the first half, but Hakeem Milson took control of a turnover in deep and scored to draw Canisius (7-7-2, 3-3-2) even not long before the halftime horn.
Siena came out strong to open the second half, and struck for two scores within the first seven minutes of the stanza. Tejera headed in a free kick from freshman striker Conor McGlynn just 64 seconds into the half to put the Saints back in front, and Rosero blasted home a feed from senior midfielder Peter Gadze less than six minutes later to stake Siena to a seemingly commanding two-goal advantage.
Tejera’s goal was the 15th of his career as he took over sole possession of 10th place on the program’s all-time list. Meanwhile McGlynn initiated Rosero’s score and picked up the secondary assist on the play – his second of the afternoon – as the freshman reclaimed the MAAC lead in assists with eight.
But the Golden Griffins wouldn’t go away and in the 70th minute were awarded with a penalty kick which Mathew Santos converted. And with less than eight minutes to go in regulation, Grattarola corralled a beautiful ball over the top from Melvin Blair deep in the box which he roofed home just inside the near right post to even the score.
Canisius continued their momentum into the first overtime taking all four shots in the period, but junior goalkeeper Aleksa Radosavljevic made two of his five saves in the initial extra session to preserve the tie.
Meanwhile the Saints had the better of the scoring opportunities in the second overtime and attempted all three shots in the period. And with eight minutes remaining Siena was initially awarded what could have been the decisive penalty kick, but following further discussion the original ruling was rescinded and the match would end deadlocked.
With the tie, the Saints ran their conference home unbeaten streak to five straight dating back to last season. They also remained unbeaten in their last five matches contested against the Golden Griffins in Loudonville.
Marco Trivellato made five saves for Canisius which also earned an important point as they too battle for a MAAC Tournament berth.
Siena returns to action Saturday for another pivotal MAAC battle at Iona at 1 p.m.