LOUDONVILLE, NY –Today, the two graduating members of the Siena men’s soccer team got with a little help from their friends to pull off a win on Senior Day.
With nearly all of a scoreless contest completed, junior Matt Crisafulli scored twice on a pair of headers in the final two minutes of regulation to give the Saints a 2-0 win over MAAC rivals Saint Peter’s in their final home competition of the 2018 season.
“Our guys are a young group and hungry for wins,” Head Coach Cesar Markovic said. “We wanted to improve our win total at home and double our conference record from last season, and we did both of those today. Matt came off the bench and ignited the team, and that’s what he does. He’s a sparkplug.”
Entering the game as a sub in the 55th minute of play, the Selkirk, NY native instantly provided energy to a deadlocked offense in the midst of a back-and-forth affair with the Peacocks. After just a single combined shots on-goal in the first half, the Green and Gold saw an increasing number of chances as the match drew on. Crisafulli broke the scoreless tie in the closing seconds of the 88th minute, heading a ball past SPU goalkeeper Jason Dubrovich in the far right corner of the six-yard box, following a long cross from senior captain Adel Cekic. The midfielder struck again just 41 seconds later, recreating his first score almost exactly after receiving a pass from sophomore Alejandro Riquelme from the far-left corner of the 18-yard box.
“Both passes were really great balls,” Crisafulli said. “The first one was whipped in from about mid-field from Adel (Cekic) and it had great timing. The second ball from (Alejandro) Riquelme was after we caught them on a counter, and he gave me a great one to tap in.”
Siena (5-10-3, 4-6) concludes the 2018 season with wins in two of its final three contests, with both coming at home. The team took time before kickoff to honor their two members of the Class of 2019, Cekic and midfielder Marko Stojanovic, who made his seventh career start in the affair. In total, seven Saints tallied shots in the win, with Riquelme leading the way with a trio of attempts.
Saint Peter’s (8-8-2, 5-4-1) now awaits its fate for the 2018 postseason after its second straight loss. The Peacocks sit a point ahead of both Manhattan and Rider, who conclude their regular season slates later on Wednesday evening. The team was steadied throughout the close contest by Jordan Jowers, who notched four shots and all three at the squad’s attempts on-goal.
Siena goalkeeper Greg Monroe recorded the third shutout of his freshman campaign, countering Bowers with three saves on the afternoon. Dubrovich also spent all 90 minutes of the match in-net for the Peacocks, collecting a pair of saves.
The Saints held a 12-7 advantage in shots in the contest, including 4-3 in attempts on-goal, while SPU help an 8-4 mark in corner kick attempts, with four in each period. Serving as both teams’ regular season finales the contest featured physicality, drawing five combined yellow cards between the two teams.
Following the final regular season match of their 2018 slate, the Saints conclude the season with one more overall win from the 2017 season, a three-win improvement at home and twice the victories in MAAC play that they had last year.