Matias Correa scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute as Iona defeated Siena Soccer 1-0 in the conference opener for both teams in New Rochelle. The physical affair featured 38 combined fouls, seven yellow cards and a red card.
Iona (4-3-2, 1-0) controlled play in the first half, out-shooting the Saints 7-1 while holding a 10-1 edge in corners. But Siena’s (5-5, 0-1) defense held, holding the Gaels without an attempt on target.
The Gaels eventually broke through however early in the second half. Ignacio Maganto’s shot was saved by Josh Weiss, but Correa blasted home the rebound for his second goal of the year.
With just 3:41 remaining in the match, Iona’s Jordan Scarlett was sent off as the Gaels were forced to play down a man the rest of the way. Siena had arguably its best chance to tie the match on the ensuing free kick, but Alexander Tejera’s header skimmed off the crossbar.
Siena’s offense came to life in the second half as the Saints attempted 10 shots and five corners in the stanza. Tejera led all players with a match-high five shots for the Saints which were opening their 26th MAAC season.
Weiss made two saves for the Saints which have dropped four straight. Julian Petrello stopped one shot for Iona which is unbeaten in their past four matches.
Siena finally returns home following its program record six-match road trip, albeit for one contest. The Saints host Saint Peter’s in their conference home opener Saturday at 1 p.m.