LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Junior midfielder Michele Tremblay and sophomore striker Meghan Riccardi each scored twice as defending MAAC Champion Siena Women’s Soccer opened its title defense by doubling up Iona 4-2 in the conference lid-lifter at Siena Field. Freshman back Hanna Longendyke added a pair of assists for the Saints which secured the program’s seventh consecutive victory against MAAC foes dating back to last season, while running their regular season conference unbeaten streak to five.
Siena (3-3-3, 1-0) held decided advantages in both shots (18-7) and corners (11-1) in a second straight strong showing for an offense which is beginning to fire on all cylinders. The Saints have posted back-to-back four-goal matches in recording consecutive 4-2 triumphs, after having scored just four goals total over their first seven matches of 2016.
The match got off to a quick start as the teams traded goals within the first six and a half minutes of action. Siena opened the scoring in the fifth minute when the reigning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week Tremblay finished a serve into the box by Longendyke off a throw in from sophomore midfielder Gabby Albano.
But Iona (0-8-1, 0-1) responded less than two minutes later when Charlotte Stuart put in the rebound off a deflected shot which just crossed the goal line before being kicked out.
However, Riccardi put the Saints back in front for good in the 32nd minute. Her long break down the right side and nifty finish across just inside the far left post gave Siena a 2-1 lead at the half.
The Saints picked up right where they left off to open the second half, scoring just 108 seconds into the stanza. Longendyke’s throw in was crossed by senior captain Kristen Connors to Tremblay who headed in what would prove to be the game-winning goal to cap her second straight multi-goal effort.
Riccardi joined Tremblay with her second collegiate multi-goal match with an insurance tally in the 72nd minute. Senior captain Tara Sobierajski and freshman back Madi Belvito earned assists on the score. The assist was the 18th of Sobierajski’s career, moving her into a four-way tie for second in program history.
Emily Hansen added a late goal for the Gaels in the 83rd minute to halve the final margin, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the defending MAAC Champions which opened their 25th season in the conference victorious.
Freshman goalie Taylor Dorado made two saves for the Saints which are now unbeaten in their last nine conference home openers (8-0-1), in which they’ve outscored their MAAC foes 30-6. Siena also ran its unbeaten streak over Iona at Siena Field to seven straight (5-0-2), outscoring the Gaels 20-5 during the run.
Tiffany Martinez tallied eight saves in a busy afternoon in goal for Iona which is now winless in its last 11 matches overall dating back to last season.
Just prior to the match, the Saints recognized honorary teammate Karissa Mitchell in a special ceremony. Connors was one of eight students from Siena College’s e-NABLE chapter which created a “Frozen” themed prosthetic arm for the nine-year-old Stillwater native earlier this summer.
The Saints will look to build on their mini three-match unbeaten streak when they continue conference play at Fairfield next Saturday at 4 p.m.