Siena Soccer will open its 27th season of MAAC competition Saturday on a high note. Sophomore midfielder Paolino Curto scored with just 63 seconds remaining in regulation as the Saints pulled off a thrilling 1-0 win to end non-conference play at Fairleigh Dickinson.
Siena (1-5-2) dominated play throughout, holding a 16-8 edge in shots and a whopping 17-2 margin in corners. The Saints’ 17 corners marked the second highest total in program history, trailing only the single-match record 18 corner kicks vs. Hartford on Sept. 19, 2004.
But despite all of Siena’s opportunities, the match remained scoreless until the waning moments. On an attempted Fairleigh Dickinson (2-5) clear, junior midfielder David Itoafa stepped in and headed the ball down to classmate Junior Rosero just outside the top right of the box. Rosero took one touch and slid across a pass to the left to the cutting Curto who maneuvered around a sliding defender and finished his first collegiate goal.
The win marked a rewarding end to the Saints’ grueling non-conference schedule which concluded with five straight road matches against quality opponents. A perennial regional power, Fairleigh Dickinson had just defeated 21st ranked American on the road nine days ago.
Junior goalkeeper Ryan Vyskocil needed to make just one save to post both his first collegiate victory and clean sheet. The Knights’ Matthew Weigner made six saves in defeat.
Siena returns to the friendly confines of Siena Turf Field for the first time in three weeks Saturday, when they host Manhattan in the conference lid-lifter at 1 p.m.