LOUDONVILLE, NY – Emily McNelis could not have given head coach Steve Karbowski a better birthday gift. The freshman scored twice – including the game-winning golden goal in the 96th minute – as third seeded Siena Women’s Soccer knocked out No. 6 Quinnipiac 2-1 in the MAAC Quarterfinals at Siena Field.
Siena (10-7-3) advances to the MAAC Semifinals for the fourth year in a row. The Saints will travel to Poughkeepsie to battle I-87 rival and No. 2 seed Marist Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Red Foxes defeated Siena 2-0 last Wednesday night down at Tenney Stadium.
The Saints’ first postseason home match in a decade and first-ever on Siena Field won’t soon be forgotten. With 3:21 remaining in the first overtime session, a long service was pinballed around in the box. Freshman Ashleigh Sarafin had the last touch which McNelis one-timed from just inside the top of the 18 into the top left corner, as Siena secured its first postseason overtime victory since their historic MAAC Championship triumph over Canisius to capture the program’s first title in 2010.
The Saints were forced to rally from an almost immediate deficit, as a Quinnipiac (6-8-4) attacker was taken down right on the edge of the box just 2:15 into the contest. Kelsey Goldring then finished the penalty kick for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
But Siena battled back and drew even on McNelis’ first goal of the afternoon just 3:40 into the second half. Madi Belvito sent a cross from the right into the box which McNelis headed across inside the far left post.
Both teams registered 11 shots including five shots on goal apiece. The Bobcats held a slight 6-4 advantage in corners.
Taylor Dorado made four saves for the Saints to move into fifth place in program history with 250 for her career.
Olivia Myszewski stopped two shots for Quinnipiac which concludes its 2018 campaign on a seven-match winless streak (0-4-3).
Siena now leads all conference schools with nine MAAC Tournament victories dating back to 2010 after improving to an impressive 8-2-3 in their last 13 overtime matches overall. The Saints also improved to 6-1-1 all-time at home vs. the Bobcats, and enacted a small measure of revenge for their 2016 MAAC Semifinals defeat in New Jersey.
Siena enters the month of November and its semifinal showdown winners of seven of eight and looking to avenge their only loss during a stellar October. The Saints and Marist are set to meet up for the third time in the past four postseasons, with Siena in search of its third straight MAAC Tournament victory over its conference rival. The Saints eliminated the Red Foxes 1-0 in last year’s quarterfinals in Florida, an earned a 1-0 victory in the 2015 MAAC Quarterfinals en route to the program’s second and most recent tournament championship.