LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Danielle Pearse’s 31st minute tally proved to be the only goal of the match as defending Northeast Conference Tournament Champion and preseason favorite Central Connecticut edged Siena Women’s Soccer 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Siena Field. Despite the defeat, the Saints conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule with their best mark since the program’s MAAC Championship season of 2010.
Fresh off the bench, Brianne Casey set up the game-winning goal for CCSU (3-1-2). She tiptoed the end line and passed across the goal mouth from the left to Pearse who deflected in the goal. The Blue Devils out-shot Siena (4-2-2) 9-2 while holding a 7-2 edge in corners in the opening half.
The second half would prove to be much more evenly played and both sides had several quality opportunities to score. Twice CCSU had shots destined for the back of the net that were cleared off the line by heads up plays from the Siena backs.
The Saints’ best chance came in the 53rd minute when junior striker Andrea Pereira’s long shot hit off the cross bar. The rebound came straight down to sophomore midfielder Madison Vasquez, but her shot was quickly smothered by Blue Devils’ keeper Nicki Turley before she could finish it.
Siena took six of its eight targets in the second half, but couldn’t find the equalizer as they fell for just the fourth time in 35 non-conference home matches dating back to the start of the 2007 season. Vasquez accounted for all three of the Saints’ attempts on target.
Senior goalkeeper Liz Rogan made two saves for Siena, while her counterpart Turley stopped three shots to post the clean sheet for CCSU.
The Saints kick off the program’s 24th season of MAAC competition when they welcome Saint Peter’s to Siena Field for the conference lid lifter Saturday at 1 p.m.