BUFFALO, NY – The Iona College men's soccer team battled a rainy 0-0 draw at Canisius on Saturday evening. The Maroon & Gold's draw, in conjunction with Marist's draw against Rider, clinched their berth into the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship.
Sophomore Juan Alcantara made three saves in net for Iona in route to his five shutout of the season. Iona now has seven total on the season. Tonight's game was the eighth overtime effort of the year.
Canisius began the game with the majority of the scoring changes. The Golden Griffs had five of the first six shots in the game through the first 38 minutes. Senior Melvin Blair was a menace throughout the game. He had a game high seven shots, including four of the Golden Griffs' first five.
The Gaels were a bit fortunate on the defense end on a couple of separate occasions. In the both the 25th and 80th minute, Blair struck the post. The same good-luck fortune can be said for Canisius as well as Iona put immense pressure during the final seven minutes of regulation. Junior Sebastian Gordillo and freshman Najim Romero combined in firing three shots all within 20 yards of distance.
Senior Luis Mendoza came inches of sending the Maroon & Gold home happy in the first overtime period. In the 95th minute, the captain had a free kick from 21 yards out that was just shy of dipping under the crossbar.
Junior Will Pauls and senior Lucian Preis each had shots blocked for Canisius in the beginning of the second overtime period. As the final overtime period stretched on, freshman Tomas Jamett had a shot from 13 yards that was deflected for a corner which the Golden Griffs defended away.
Canisius outshot Iona 7-2 in overtime, but Alcantara was only forced to make one save during the extra time. Overall the Griffs had the shots edge, 15-13. Canisius dominated the shots in each period except the second period in which Iona had a distinct 9-3 advantage.
It was a physical game with both teams combined for 33 fouls. There were five total yellow cards given.
The Gaels have a bye on the final day of the MAAC men's soccer regular season. They will await the results of the day's games to see who they will play in the opening round of the 2017 MAAC Championship.