LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Five-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Monmouth scored three second half goals – including the go-ahead and insurance tallies just 28 seconds apart – as the top seeded Hawks rallied past No. 4 seed Siena Women’s Soccer 3-1 in the MAAC Semifinals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Sophomore back Madi Belvito scored for the Saints who finished their 2017 campaign with an 11-8 overall record in achieving the program’s third double digit win season in the past five years.
Lexie Palladino scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals for defending MAAC Tournament Champion Monmouth (14-3-2) which will play for a chance at a third title in five seasons Wednesday at noon against either second seeded Manhattan or No. 3 seed Quinnipiac.
The Hawks out-shot Siena by a commanding 27-9 margin, however it was the Saints who harbored a 1-0 lead for nearly 47 minutes of action in making the program’s third consecutive MAAC Semifinals appearance.
Just over eight minutes into the contest Second Team All-MAAC selection Gabby Albano served in a corner kick from the left which Belvito headed in for her first goal of the season. Siena would maintain its 1-0 lead into the break to hand Monmouth its first halftime deficit since Aug. 25.
However in the second half the Hawks would come out firing in registering 19 shots in the stanza. Palladino knotted the score in the 54th minute, and then put Monmouth in front for good in the 76th minute. Just 28 seconds later, Alli DeLuca fed Madie Gibson for the back breaking insurance tally.
Second Team All-MAAC goalkeeper Taylor Dorado made nine saves for the Saints which ended their season winning seven of their final nine matches, with their only two defeats coming at the hands of the Hawks who with their victory improved to an astounding 51-5-3 combined in both MAAC Regular Season and Tournament play since joining the league in 2013.
MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Amanda Knaub made one save for Monmouth which has won five straight.
Siena graduates a decorated seven-member Senior Class which recorded 39 wins, became only the second class in program history to qualify for the MAAC Tournament in all four seasons, and played a key role in the Saints’ second and most recent MAAC Championship as sophomores in 2015. Siena is set to return eight starters including its leading scorer in Albano and starting keeper in Dorado.