NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College men's soccer team played to scoreless draw with the 2019 MAAC Preseason favorites, the Fairfield Stags. The Gaels' unbeaten streak increases to seven straight matches, its longest such stretch since 2015.
The Maroon & Gold had three corners in the first two minutes of the match, putting pressure on the Stags and keeper Gordon Botterill. The lone shot from the three corner kicks came off the foot of Francesc Chulia, but it missed.
After some time, Fairfield began to apply the pressure to Iona and its backline. The Stags were called offside on two runs in successive minutes. They finally got up ahead and got their first corner kick opportunity. Three shots followed on the possession, one that hit the crossbar and came out and one that was saved by Gabriel Cinanni.
In the final five minutes, Fairfield's Jack Weiss forced Cinanni to make another save. Botterill made a stop of his own in the closing seconds on a rocket of a shot from freshman Jon Paul Fernandez.
The second half opened with three shots from the Maroon & Gold. Eimantas Lotuzys was stopped twice by Botterill, while Mauro Bravo's try missed high. As time went on, tensions between the two sides began to rise. Fouls were being traded consistently and cards were handed out accordingly.
Another constant was Iona's offense not letting up; the Gaels continued to send shots towards nets, but time and time again came up empty. Bravo's chance late in regulation on a cross into the box skipped past Botterill but nicked the right post and went out of bounds.
The two sides ended regulation scoreless and headed for overtime. Cooper Knecht was responsible for Fairfield's two shots to begin the first OT period, missing on both tries. Enzo Sangiacomo, a late substitution for Iona, had a great chance in the final minute of the first period of extra time, but Botterill cut off his angle and made a great save to send it to another overtime period.
Iona controlled play for the majority of the second 10-minute period, as they were responsible for all six shots. The Gaels had a couple of corners and some good looks at net, but still could not score, eventually playing to a draw.
Iona begins a two-game road trip when they face Canisius on Wednesday, October 16 at 4 PM. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
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