In front of a crowd of 998 at famed Harder Stadium, home of the 2018 and 2020 College Cups, Siena Men’s Soccer drew a 0-0 double overtime draw with defending Big West North Division Champions UC Santa Barbara. The Saints recorded back-to-back OT games to start the year for the first time since 2006.
UC Santa Barbara (0-0-2) has made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances over the past 16 seasons and won the 2006 National Championship. The Gauchos outshot Siena (0-1-1) 17-5 during the match. The Saints only recorded one shot on goal against the Big West preseason favorites.
It was a slow start for both teams but the Gauchos took their first shot in the 11th minute where Aleksa Radosavljevic tallied his first save of the match. It was all about UC Santa Barbara in the first half, but Radosavljevic and the Saints defense held off the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara put out seven shots in the first half, compared to the Saints who were unable to get a shot off. Radosavljevic had five saves after 45 minutes played.
UC Santa Barbara came into the second half just as solid as in the first half and outshot the Saints 8-3. It would continue to be all about Siena’s defense during the match where Radosavljevic and Siena would not let anything in the cage, even after five corner kicks for the Gauchos in the second half.
The Saints did not record their first shot of the game until the 75th minute where Alejandro Riquelme got a good look but it went high and landed on top of the net. It was a hard fought battle and for the second straight match the Saints would head to overtime.
Overtime yielded no shots for either team as each battled back-and-forth for that golden goal victory. Headed into double overtime both teams would remain close. Right after Alexander Tejera’s header went wide,the Saints had their best opportunity as Riquelme got off a solid shot, but Alan Cardillo was right in position to make the save to preserve the 0-0 tie. It was a solid 110 minutes of play for both squads that would produce a 0-0 draw.
Including the end of the 2016 season, Siena has been unbeaten in 11 of their last 15 matches. The Saints return to the Capital Region to host George Mason for their home opener next The match kicks off the first of two, season-long three match homestands for Siena which includes non-conference contests vs. Holy Cross ( ) and Army West Point ( ).