LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - In an overly chippy and physical affair which you would expect when two longtime rivals lock horns, the Saints let their play do all the talking. Matt Hemsley's first goal of the season in the 59th minute proved to be the difference as the Saints stole back Capital Region bragging rights with a 1-0 triumph over crosstown rival UAlbany.
The match featured a total of 46 fouls - 24 on UAlbany (4-4) and 22 on Siena (3-4). Additionally, the Great Danes were issued three yellow cards.
But the Saints were able to keep their cool despite a number of tense moments on the pitch. The Saints came out firing, registering six shots in the game's first nine minutes but couldn't cash in. It would not be until early in the second half when they would break through.
James Beeston sent a hard, line drive cross left to right from 10 yards outside the box. UAlbany goalkeeper Adrian Foncette looked like he would easily squeeze it but miscalculated the velocity. The ball went right through his mitts, deflecting far post to Jannis Opalka who volleyed it back to the near post to Hemsley who headed it home.
It would be all that Siena keeper Jack Binks and the backfield would need. The Saints limited the high powered UAlbany offense to just seven shots and only one on goal which Binks stopped in collecting his second collegiate shutout.
The Great Danes, which had scored 12 times in their previous five games, went the first 25 minutes of the game without even registering a shot as they were shutout for the first time this season.
The Saints improved to an even 3-3-1 in their last seven matches against the Great Danes, continuing to progress what has become a tightly contested rivalry after UAlbany had gone 13-1-1 in the first 15 meetings.
The game concluded non-conference play for the Saints. The Green and Gold return to the pitch for the start of MAAC play - and a three-game road trip - Friday night at Canisius. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.