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Gaels Open MAAC Season With Win At Siena

Published: October 16, 2019

LOUDONVILLE, NY - The Iona College men's soccer team defeated Siena in its conference opener on Saturday. Mauro Bravo and Francesc Chulia scored Iona's two goals in the victory at Hickey Field. 

GAME SUMMARY

The opening portion of the match was controlled mostly by Iona. The Gaels had three great chances in the first 20 minutes of play, the best of the three being a free run for Josh Plimpton that ended with him falling down before taking a shot. Mauro Bravo was the benefactor of a clean cross into the box earlier, but also could not muster a shot. Bravo's cross for Najim Romero a minute later was a little off target and Siena avoided any trouble early on.

Siena's best chance early on found the back of the net, but was whistled as offsides and the goal was negated. The Saints had a few corner kicks, but the Gael defense and starting goalkeeper Gabriel Cinanni thwarted every try in the opening 45 minutes of the match, with some luck added in. The Saints' leading goal-scorer, Alejandro Riquelme, hit the crossbar with seven minutes left in the period. 

In the waning seconds of the half, Siena's defender shanked an attempt to clear the ball off of his end line, allowing the Gaels a corner kick opportunity. Esad Mackic raced to the corner as the clock ticked under 15 seconds left in the first half, getting the ball in short to Romero quickly. Romero's cross attempt was deflected and the ball bounded in front of Francesc Chulia, who fired a rocket past the keeper on the right side with four seconds left to gift Iona a 1-0 lead.

Iona opened up the second half with a corner kick opportunity that Mac Naggar headed high over the crossbar. Siena's Samuel Schwarz was stopped by Cinanni on the initial try for the Saints in the second period. In the 58th minute, Chulia fed a pass ahead to Mackic, who with his back turned, rolled a pass up for Bravo and created enough space for the sophomore to rifle a shot into the upper-right corner of the net. The assist for Mackic was his second of the match and the goal gave the Gaels a 2-0 advantage.

The Maroon & Gold's defense stifled the Saints attackers after the second goal, closing out the match with ease and securing the team's fifth consecutive win.

NOTABLE NUGGETS

  • Chulia's goal was his first of the season and the first of the senior's career. He added an assist on Iona's second goal.  
  • Mackic assisted on both of the Gael goals in the victory.  
  • Bravo's goal was his fourth of the season.  
  • Cinanni, in his second career start, recorded a clean sheet and his first career shutout.  
  • Cinanni also recorded his first career Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win.   
  • The Gaels outshot the Saints 14-8.  
  • Bravo, Mackic and Romero led the team with three shots each.  
  • Mackic set a new game-high with two assists today.
  • The Maroon & Gold have now won five consecutive matches.

UP NEXT

The Gaels make their way back to Mazzella Field for their next match against Manhattan on Wednesday, October 9. The match is scheduled for 3 PM and is Iona's annual Maroon Maniacs game.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Be sure to follow Iona College athletics and men's soccer on all social media platforms:  
ICGaels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram (Email Updates)  
Iona Men's Soccer: TwitterFacebook and Instagram (Email Updates)

 
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