Ellie Smith scored her second goal of the night with just 86 seconds remaining in regulation as No. 4 seed Rider stunned fifth seeded Siena Women’s Soccer 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament in Lawrenceville, N.J. The Saints had rallied late to tie the score just two minutes earlier.
Siena ends its 2014 season with a 7-7-6 final record while Rider improves to 11-5-2. The Broncs advance to play MAAC Regular Season Champion Monmouth in the semifinals Friday.
In a wild finish, Siena netted the equalizer with just 3:49 remaining in regulation to keep its season alive. Sophomore Tara Sobierajski’s free kick 30 yards out from the left found the head of junior Kirby O’Keefe for the tying tally.
But before the dust settled, Smith had the final say with just 1:26 left before a potential overtime. On a 2-on-2 down the middle Victoria Maley threaded the needle to Smith who fired home the decisive score.
Siena out-shot Rider 9-8 and held a 3-1 edge in corners in suffering just its third loss in its final 15 matches to end the season. Senior captain Taylor Booth made two saves in her collegiate finale for the Saints.
But Smith was the difference. In a first half that featured just three combined shots, Smith headed in a cross from Alanna McDougal to put the Broncs on top 1-0 in the 30th minute. The rest of the match was relatively uneventful on the offensive end for both sides until the waning minutes.
Senior Maria Jones came off the bench to put all three of her shots on target, but Bethany May-Howard made four saves in total for Rider to earn the win.