LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Siena and Monmouth entered the final weekend of the regular season tied for fifth in the MAAC. And the programs will head into their final regular season matches Wednesday in the same position following a 1-1 tie on the Saints’ Senior Day at Siena Turf Field.
Both Siena (9-7-2, 4-3-2) and Monmouth (7-3-6, 3-1-5) could have clinched MAAC Tournament berths with wins Saturday. But now both squads’ playoff fates, like those of the majority of the programs in a tightly contested league, will come down to the final day of the regular season Wednesday.
Sophomore Alex Portela gave the Saints an early advantage, netting his second goal of the season just over four minutes into the match. Off a free kick from junior Tom Allen straight on from 40 yards out, junior captain Matt Needham got a head on the ball in the box and Portela got a piece of the deflection just inside the left post. It was just the seventh goal allowed all season by a Monmouth squad that entered the day ranked second nationally with a 0.37 goals against average.
The Hawks, which out-shot the Saints 12-4 during regulation, turned up the pressure in search of the equalizer. Monmouth hit a pair of crossbars in the second half, but cashed in when Brandon McCarthy finished a cross from Miguel Alves in the 70th minute.
Both teams fought hard to net the golden goal in the extra periods with the Saints attempting six of their 10 shots during the overtimes while Monmouth added four targets.
Freshman keeper Josh Weiss made four saves for the Saints, while Eric Klenofsky made two of his three saves during the extra sessions for the Hawks.
Now it all comes down to Wednesday for Siena, Monmouth and the majority of the league to determine who will qualify for the six-team MAAC Championships and who will be left out. The Saints, which remained undefeated at home (5-0-2), host I-87 rival Marist in a decisive 2 p.m. kickoff.