LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – Siena Soccer has won multiple matches in a MAAC Tournament for the first time in program history. Sophomore captain Milorad Sobot’s penalty kick goal with 56 seconds remaining in the first half was the difference as the sixth seeded Saints ended rival and third seeded Marist’s season with a 1-0 win in the MAAC Quarterfinals at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
Unbeaten in their last five matches (4-0-1), surging Siena (8-9-3) advances to the MAAC Semifinals where they’ll face No. 2 seed Rider Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3. The Broncs won their quarterfinals matchup over No. 10 seed Quinnipiac 3-0. Rider captured the regular season meeting against the Saints, posting a 3-2 double overtime triumph in Loudonville Oct. 10.
Despite playing for the second straight day in the 80-plus degree Florida heat against a well-rested Marist (7-9-2) team making its MAAC Tournament debut, Siena controlled tempo for most of the first half. And, in a physical affair in which the squads were whistled for a combined 40 fouls, an infraction set up Siena for the lone score.
With inside of a minute left in the first half, sophomore striker Alexander Tejera was taken down in the box and Siena was awarded a penalty kick. Sobot calmly stepped up and converted the attempt for his first collegiate goal.
Buoyed by their late first half goal, Siena came out strong riding its momentum into the second half. The Saints had multiple quality chances to extend their lead, but couldn’t get another goal past Marist goalkeeper Mark Rajovic.
Meanwhile the Red Foxes’ best opportunities to net the equalizer came within the final 10 minutes when they attempted five of their shots. However, sophomore goalkeeper Gianni Carillo made all three of his saves during the second half including two in the final five minutes to record his sixth shutout.
Overall, Siena held a 15-13 edge in shots and an 8-4 margin in corners. Rajovic made five saves for Marist which cooled off after their hot start in conference play in ending their season winless in five of their final six matches.
It’s the second time in five days that a sixth seeded Siena soccer team has beaten a third seeded Marist squad in the MAAC Quarterfinals. The women’s soccer team also scored a 1-0 win over the rival Red Foxes Sunday in Poughkeepsie.
Of Siena’s now seven all-time MAAC Tournament victories, five have come here in Lake Buena Vista. Additionally, head coach Cesar Markovic improves to 5-0 all-time in MAAC Tournament matches at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Markovic led third seeded Saint Peter’s to three wins and the MAAC Tournament Title here in 2003.
Siena advances to the MAAC Semifinals for the 12th time in program history. Following a well-deserved day of rest Saturday, the Saints will look to make more magic Sunday when they attempt to secure the program’s first-ever MAAC Championship Match appearance.