Siena Soccer appears to be in good hands with Cesar Markovic at the helm. Senior captainJames Beeston scored a career-high six points as the Saints and their new head coach routed Sacred Heart 4-1 Sunday afternoon in Connecticut, ringing in the program's 40th season.
"Today is the continuation of a significant journey for us that started in February when I took over the program," noted Markovic, who is the Saints' seventh head coach. "It was a special day. The guys had a few moments of magic out there and it was a fun game."
One of just 30 candidates nationally for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award and a Preseason All-MAAC selection, Beeston made a huge statement in propelling the Saints (1-0) to the program's first ever win over Sacred Heart (0-2). He set up fellow All-MAAC pickFalko Friedrichs for the first goal of the year in the fifth minute and then put Siena back on top for good, firing home a free kick from 20 yards out in the 31st minute.
Beeston capped his first career multi-goal game, finishing a double assist from Mike Materaand Tom Allen in the 62nd minute, before setting up classmate Matt Hemsley for another insurance tally in the waning minutes.
"He's taken a lot on his shoulders," said Markovic of Beeston. "He's enjoying the game and he has huge goals for this year. He came out flying and hopefully it continues."
Siena dominated from start to finish, out-shooting Sacred Heart 16-8 in scoring the program's most goals since a 5-1 triumph over Saint Peter's in the First Round of the MAAC Championships on Nov. 3, 2011.
Aaron Burrell accounted for the lone Pioneers' goal in the 11th minute and Tucker Hackett made four saves. Red-shirt junior goalie Adam Myers was called upon to make just one save for Siena, improving to a perfect 4-0 in his career between the pipes.
The Saints are at Hartford Friday night at 7 p.m. before returning to the Capital Region Sunday for the home opener at 1 p.m. vs. Buffalo.