LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Junior striker Alexander Tejera converted a pair of penalty kicks to propel Siena Soccer to an impressively convincing 4-1 season-opening victory over defending Northeast Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion LIU Brooklyn at Siena Turf Field. Junior captain Milorad Sobot and freshman striker Matt Crisafulli also scored in the offensive explosion for the Saints, which ended the nation’s second longest active unbeaten streak at 13.
The four goals scored marked the most in two years for Siena, while the four makers bequeathed were also the most allowed by the stingy LIU Brooklyn defense in two years. The Saints made their mark on set pieces where they scored three of their goals, as they handed the Blackbirds their first defeat since Sept. 20 of last season. LIU Brooklyn had posted a 9-0-4 record since that time, and the overwhelming preseason favorites to repeat as NEC Champions had entered the season receiving votes in the College Soccer News Preseason Poll.
Siena wasted no time in kicking off the program’s 43rd season on a high note. In the eighth minute, freshman midfielder Conor McGlynn served in a great free kick from 35 yards out that Sobot headed in for the Saints’ first score of 2016.
But the lead would be short-lived as the Blackbirds responded just seven minutes later. Off a free kick from Rasmus Hansen, Simen Hestes sent in a whirling kick which was misplayed by a pair of defenders and trickled over the goal line.
However, Siena would wrestle the lead back for good in the 22nd minute when Tejera finished his first penalty kick which would prove to be the decisive tally. He added another penalty kick for good measure in the 66th minute to provide the Saints with some much needed insurance. Tejera had a strong all-around match, registering six shots and creating numerous scoring opportunities.
Crisafulli added the exclamation point in the 85th minute, breaking free down the middle off a feed from senior midfielder David Itoafa to put things well out of reach.
Siena doubled up LIU Brooklyn in shots 14-7, while the Blackbirds held a 4-1 advantage in corners. Junior transfer Aleksa Radosavljevic made two stops to earn the win in goal in his Saints’ debut, while Logan Keys stopped three shots in defeat for LIU Brooklyn.
The Saints return to action Tuesday night, when they head on the road to New Hampshire for a 7 p.m. kickoff.