LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The Marist men’s soccer team (7-7-4, 3-5-2 MAAC) fell to the Siena Saints (10-7-2, 5-3-2 MAAC) in double overtime Wednesday afternoon, 2-1. The heartbreaking loss for the Red Foxes in the MAAC season finale effectively puts an end to the team’s playoff hopes.
The game winning Siena goal was scored in the 101st minute in double overtime. Siena’s Tom Allen was the last to touch the ball after a goal mouth scramble and multiple deflections. Freshman goalkeeper Mark Rajovic (Katonah, N.Y.) was unable to keep the ball out after a diving attempt to his left side as the ball dribbled past both him and the defense and into the net.
A mistimed breakaway saving tackle in the 71st minute led to a second yellow card for defenseman Connor Preece (Ballston Spa, N.Y.). The Red Foxes played a man down for the final 20 minutes of regulation and the duration of overtime.
“It takes the air out of you and really limits what you can do,” head coach Matt Viggiano said about the sending off. “We had to switch up our tactics, but it definitely puts you behind the eight ball.”
After a slow start that saw neither team record a shot for the first 15 minutes the action heated up quickly. Siena opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a goal from forward Nathan Olukanmi, his first of the year. Midfielder Uros Antic headed a pass over to Olukanmi who knocked a low liner into the right corner past goalkeeper Rajovic (Katonah, N.Y.).
The Red Foxes applied pressure in the ensuing minutes but couldn’t crack a stellar Saints defense until late in the half. With under a minute left the Red Foxes were awarded a penalty kick as a result of a Siena foul from a scramble in front of net. Freshman Erik Dahl (Helsingborgs, Sweden) stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly knocked one home low and to the left to tie the game going into halftime. The goal was Dahl’s third of the season.
Both teams came out firing in the second half, trading goal scoring chances. Siena hit a post and a cross bar in the final half. In total the Red Foxes we’re outshot 7-2 in shots on goal. Rajovic recorded five saves on the game behind a Marist defense that has been the highlight of the team all season.
“It’s a learning experience, we still have to be better. Now that we’ve been through the conference the young guys they’ve seen the margin for error is very slim,” said Viggiano about the plans going forward. “We’ve just have to get an infusion of talent and find a way to get it done to win in the MAAC.”
The Marist men’s soccer team finish the season 7-7-4 overall and 3-5-2 in the MAAC.