LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Women’s Soccer will host the program’s first postseason home match in a decade when the third seeded Saints battle No. 6 seed Quinnipiac in the MAAC Quarterfinals Sunday at 1 p.m. at Siena Field. The match will be webstreamed online at MAAC.TV.
Joe Mixie and Siena Men’s Soccer Head Coach Cesar Markovic have the call of the match on MAAC.TV. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the field and are priced at $10 for adults, and $5 for seniors, students, and children. The first 100 students will get in FREE with their Siena College ID. On-site social media updates will be provided throughout the day from the @SienaWSoccer twitter account. Join the conversation by using the hashtags #MarchOn, #SienaSaints, and #MAACSoccer.
The winner of Sunday’s match will advance to the MAAC Semifinals Thursday. Should Siena win, the Saints would travel to Poughkeepsie to face second seeded Marist. If Quinnipiac wins, the Bobcats would head to the Jersey Shore to take on top-seed and regular season champion Monmouth.
Siena in the MAAC Championships (19th Appearance)
Championships: 2 (2010, 2015)
At Home: 0-0-1
As No. 3 seed: 2-2-1
Vs. Quinnipiac: 0-1
Siena is making its 19th MAAC Tournament appearance and program-record sixth straight. The Saints have captured the program’s first two MAAC Tournament Championships over the previous eight seasons, winning their first title the last time they were the No. 3 seed in 2010, before making history as the first – and to date only – No. 6 seed to claim their second title in 2015.
Siena is set to host a MAAC Tournament match for only the second time ever, and first time on Siena Field. The third-seeded Saints battled No. 2 Fairfield to a scoreless tie before falling 5-4 in a penalty shootout in the 2008 MAAC Semifinals at the predetermined site of the adjacent Siena Turf Field.
Siena has posted a solid 8-4 MAAC Tournament record dating back to 2010, after having notched just a collective 2-10-2 mark over the program’s first 18 seasons in the league. The Saints’ eight MAAC Tournament victories since 2010 are tied with Monmouth for the most over that time.
Siena is making the program’s fourth MAAC Quarterfinals appearance in five seasons, and has won three of its last four matches in this round of the tournament following an 0-3 start. The Saints have achieved an even 2-2-1 record all-time as the No. 3 seed, and won the program’s first MAAC Championship the last time they were seeded third in 2010.
The Series With Quinnipiac (15th Meeting: Siena leads, 7-5-2)
Siena holds a 7-5-2 advantage in the all-time series with Quinnipiac, including a 3-2-2 edge since the Bobcats joined the MAAC in 2013. The Saints are an impressive 5-1-1 all-time at home in the series. Siena will be looking to seek revenge against a Quinnipiac squad which defeated the second seeded Saints 1-0 as the No. 4 seed in the 2016 MAAC Semifinals held in New Jersey in the only previous postseason meeting between the programs.
The teams battled to a highly entertaining scoreless draw during their regular season meeting earlier this fall in the MAAC opener on Sept. 15 here in Loudonville. The squads combined for 39 shots in a match highlighted by outstanding performances by both team’s goalkeepers. Taylor Dorado made 10 saves for Siena, four of which came during the overtime periods, and none bigger than the denial of Ally Grunstein on a breakaway with 4:18 remaining in double overtime. Meanwhile the Saints had a breakaway of their own on the final play of the match but Olivia Myszewski, who made seven of her eight saves following halftime, turned aside the potential winning attempt as the final horn sounded. Reserves Ashleigh Sarafin (six shots/three on goal) for Siena and Grunstein (five shots/four on goal) for the Bobcats paced their respective teams’ offenses.
Scouting Siena (9-7-3, 6-2-2)
Siena finished the regular season third in the MAAC after being projected third in the preseason coaches’ poll. However, the Saints took a circuitous route to fulfilling their 2018 prognostication.
Siena both started and ended the regular season strong, with a challenging stretch sandwiched in between. The Saints kicked off their 2018 slate with a victory over Big East foe Seton Hall to fuel a 3-1-1 start, marking the program’s best run to open a season since beginning the 2010 MAAC Championship year a perfect 12-0. Siena then slumped in failing to secure a victory over its ensuing seven matches (0-5-2), while scoring just a total of two goals. But the Saints have bounced back with a dominant month of October to enter the MAAC Tournament playing their best soccer of the season. Siena enters the postseason winners of six of their past seven while outscoring their opponents by a 9-2 margin, with all six victories coming via shutouts. The stretch was highlighted by a four-match winning streak, marking the program’s fourth straight year with a late-season winning streak of four or more. The Saints secured their third straight season with at least six regular season conference victories and, with one more win this fall, would notch the program’s seventh 10-win season overall in the past 11 years, and second straight.
Siena’s strength has come from an outstanding defense which has tied a program single-season record with nine shutouts (2015). The Saints rank second in the MAAC in both teams goals against average (0.86) and clean sheets, and are tied for the conference lead (Monmouth) having allowed just three goals over 10 league matches. Both Siena and Dorado established new program team and individual shutout streaks of 513:27 earlier this month, which were punctuated by a program record four straight shutouts. Dorado, who has established a new program career record with seven MAAC Defensive Player of the Week awards including three this season, currently ranks 19th nationally in save percentage (.865), 20th in saves (96), and 22nd in shutouts (eight). Her eight shutouts this fall are tied with Liz Rogan (2015) and Laura Ettinger (2008) for the most in program single-season history, and the junior currently shares the program career record of 19 shutouts with her mentor and Siena Athletics Hall of Famer Noel Cox ’05. Dorado leads the MAAC during conference action in goals against average (0.32), save percentage (.948), and shutouts (seven).
The Saints have been paced by a balanced offensive attack this fall, with nine different players combining to score the team’s 17 goals. Sophomore forward Jayanna Monds leads Siena with eight points, while senior captain Meghan Riccardi and freshman striker Ashleigh Sarafin pace the squad with three goals apiece. All three of Riccardi’s goals have been game-winners, which is tied for the second most in the MAAC.
The Saints have posted a 5-2-2 record at home this season, including an undefeated 3-0-2 ledger in the MAAC. Over the past 12 seasons, Siena has amassed a stellar 69-22-12 (.728) record on Siena Field.
The Saints have continued to exhibit a flare for the dramatic this season, with two more overtime victories. Siena enters the MAAC Tournament an impressive 7-2-3 over the program’s last 12 overtime contests.
The Saints are under the direction of head coach Steve Karbowski, who is in his milestone 20th season leading the program. The 1993 Siena grad has amassed a 182-155-37 (.536) overall record including a 99-66-21 (.589) mark in the MAAC. The winningest coach in program history, Karbowski has led the Saints to the program’s first two MAAC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances over the past eight seasons (2010, 2015). Over his first 20 seasons at the helm, he has now guided Siena to 14 MAAC Tournament appearances, nine seasons of 10 or more wins, and .500 or better records in 14 of the past 16 years.
Scouting Quinnipiac (6-7-4, 3-3-4)
Projected to finish second according to the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Quinnipiac clinched the sixth and final MAAC Tournament berth on the last day of the regular season. The Bobcats are making the program’s fourth MAAC Tournament appearance since joining the league in 2013.
Quinnipiac struggled down the stretch, and enters the postseason riding a six-match winless streak (0-3-3) as they have failed to secure a victory yet in October. The Bobcats are an even 3-3 all-time in MAAC Tournament action, advancing as far as the Championship match as the No. 4 seed in 2016.
Kelsey Goldring leads a balanced offensive attack with 12 points, while Selena Salas and Madison Borowiec have added 11 points apiece. Al Pelletier is tied for second in the MAAC with Riccardi with three game-winning goals. Myszewski leads the squad’s keepers with four shutouts, 67 saves, a .779 save percentage, and a 1.38 goals against average over 14 matches including 13 starts, but did not appear in either of Quinnipiac’s final two regular season contests.