Published: October 2, 2019
BUFFALO, NY – Siena Men's Soccer (4-5, 1-0) junior Alejandro Riquelme played 83 minutes during the Saints' 2019 MAAC opener at Canisius (1-7, 0-1), but only needed just under seven minutes to net the program's first hat trick in nine years. Riquelme's breakout performance led the Green and Gold to a 3-1 victory over the Golden Griffins at the Demske Sports Complex Wednesday afternoon, allowing the Saints to remain unbeaten in conference-opening matches since 2015.
Looking to rebound from last week's loss at Cornell to conclude non-conference play, the Saints immediately took control of the flow of the game offensively, out-shooting the home team, 7-4, in the first half.
Riquelme began his offensive pillage in the 34th minute, controlling a ball just outside the top right of the box to score. The Las Rozas, Spain native waited just a couple of minutes more to record his first career multi-goal performance, taking a feed that went from senior Eamonn Conway to freshman Mark Sojer and then popped over the head of the keeper for Riquelme to finish with an empty net in front. The completion the forward's natural hat trick came in the 41st minute of play, with sophomores Aaron Martin and Samuel Schwarz allowing the 2017 Second Team All-MAAC selection to ground a ball in from inside the six-yard marker to become the first Saint since Emory Welshman on Oct. 24, 2010 to record three goals in one match.
Riquelme fired off a career high eight shots in the win to lead the team, who saw three different players take an attempt. Despite conceding an own goal in the second half that got Canisius on the board, sophomore goalkeeper Greg Monroe was solid in-between-the-pipes, making eight saves to preserve a shutout through 62 minutes and ultimately the win.
Combining the hat trick with Riquelme's work elsewhere during the season, he currently leads the league in points (16) and assists (6) and is tied for the top spot in goals (5). Though only through nine contests on the season, Riquelme's point total is already tied with two other Siena scorers for the most in a season since James Beeston put up 20 points in 2013. As a team. Siena leads the MAAC in points and has already surpassed last year's total through 18 games.
With the team's unbeaten streak against Canisius now up to six matches in a row, Siena's attention now turns to Saturday, October 5, when it hosts Iona at Hickey Field on Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m., with the Saints looking for their second straight 2-0 start to conference play.