Sept. 1, 2010
Siena entered its season opener at Syracuse Wednesday evening with three freshmen starting on the back line and without Jannis Opalka, one of the team's best defenders. Concern quickly turned to confidence as freshman center back Falko Friedrichs scored his first of two goals just five minutes into the game. He scored again just before halftime and the Saints poured it on, defeating Syracuse 5-1 in a non-conference game.
Friedrichs, who missed most of preseason due to injury, added to his scoring by anchoring a stingy Siena defense that allowed five shots on goal and only one quality scoring chance.
"Falko was outstanding today," head coach Gareth Elliott said. "It was a great job by the back four and Phil Chabot, but really it was the whole team. We were able to hold them off and then make the most of our chances going forward."
The Saints (1-0) cashed in alright. They scored on five of their 12 shots and earned the program's best result since November 1, 2008 (defeated Marist 6-1 on Senior Day). The win also marked the program's first ever against Syracuse (had been 0-8 all-time).
Both of Friedrichs' goals came off headers. The first was a corner kick sent in by freshman James Beeston and Friedrichs rose up and beat the keeper to the ball. On the second goal, he deflected the ball in from Joey Tavernese's throw in.
Syracuse (0-1) cut the deficit in half when Brett Jankouskas scored (49') in the opening minutes of the second half.
Siena responded by unleashing another three goals before the night was done. Tavernese made it 3-1 in the 54th minute with a classy goal.
"It was the goal of the match," Elliott said.
Sophomore Sean Sullivan played a ball down the sideline for Emery Welshman. He collected it and sent it across to Tavernese who finished it in the side netting, leaving no chance for the keeper.
Welshman scored the final two goals, giving him a five-point night. Friedrichs had four points on two goals, Tavernese had three points on two goals and one assist, Beeston had two assists and Nick Viaggio had one.
"It was a brilliant team performance," Elliott said. "The team worked hard for each other."
The Saints return to action on Tuesday when they play Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn.