Oct. 8, 2004
Siena (0-5-4) opened their 2004 conference season with a hard fought 2-2 tie with Niagara University (2-7-1) in men's soccer action this afternoon. The game was extremely physical with Siena picking up 16 fouls and Niagara adding 12. In addition, 14 yellow cards were issued, one being credited to Purple Eagles Head Coach, Dermot McGrane in the double-overtime tie. Both teams improve to 0-0-1 in league play.
After a scoreless first half, Siena broke the ice in the second half with a goal in the 56th minute by senior Tom Santoro. An air kick pass from Alejandro Vazquez off a throw in from junior Mike Coyle assisted the goal.
Niagara answered back when Simon Adair scored off a side pass from Mark Spooner at the 61:41 mark.
Sixteen minutes later, Siena retook the lead with a beautiful bend on a free kick with the ball sneaking in through the upper right hand corner by co-captain Joe Vitale. The goal came in the 78th minute and was Vitale's first goal of the season. The assist went to Hugo Fernandez-Davila. Freshman Liam Welsh added three shots (two on goal), while Sean Kelly, Delmiro Fernandez and Vazquez added two shots.
Twelve minutes after that, Matt Stedman scored his third goal of the season off an assist by Jeff Densk. It was the last goal of the game as either team managed to find the back of the net over the final 20 minutes of play.
At the heart of an opportunity to seal the win, senior C.J. Mellili was awarded a direct kick, that went high over the Purple Eagles net; minutes later, Mellili robbed Niagara to score by committing a defensive left slide tackle.
Siena outshot Niagara 20-6 and a 7-3 advantage in corners. Patrick Henry recorded one save for the Saints, while Eric Sullivan stopped five shots for the Purple Eagles.
Siena will host Canisius on Sunday at 1:00 PM in another MAAC conference match-up.