Siena's historic women's soccer run hit high gear Friday night with an inspired 2-1 MAAC semifinal victory at regional power Monmouth. The Saints play for their second MAAC Championship in program history Sunday at 3 p.m. against the winner of tonight's second semifinal between Rider and Manhattan.
"That was one of the best performances I've ever seen from a Siena team," head coach Steve Karbowski said.
Madison Vasquez got Siena on the board in the 20th minute, finishing her own rebound after a flurry of activity in front of the net. Allison Clark headed home Kristen Connors' long entry pass for the game-winner 10 minutes later.
Erica Murphy's penalty kick in the 62nd minute cut the lead in half and snapped Siena's program-record shutout streak that had reached over 540 minutes. Monmouth nearly got the equalizer in the 85th minute when Brianne Boyle deflected a failed clear just wide.
Monmouth controlled a 14-7 advantage in shots and a 3-0 edge in corners, but the Hawks managed just three shots on target. Siena's backline, anchored by First Team All-MAAC selection Tara Sobierajski, executed the gameplan to perfection. MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Alexis McTamney was limited to just three contested shots that sailed wide.
Senior keeper Liz Rogan (Wilton, NY/Saratoga) and the Saints ran their unbeaten streak to six games, and they've won five straight since drawing with Fairfield October 14.
Siena beat Quinnipiac on the final day of regular-season play to qualify for the six-team Championships as the number six seed. They beat third-seeded Marist 1-0 on the road Sunday to reach the semifinals.
Monmouth entered Friday's match with a 13-2-2 overall record and a 9-1 mark in the MAAC. They won their third straight MAAC regular-season title since joining the league in 2013. The Hawks had nine players earn All-MAAC honors, including five First Team selections.
Siena won its first MAAC title in 2010, downing Canisius 1-0 in Baltimore on Tabatha Tice's golden goal in overtime. The Saints also reached the championship round in 1996 and 2006.