Oct. 12, 2003
Delmiro Fernandez scored a hat trick to lead the Saints to a 4-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic victory over Niagara University this afternoon at Niagara Field. With the win, the Saints improve to 3-7-1 overall and 2-1-1 in league play while the loss drops the Purple Eagles to 1-9-1 on the season and 1-2-1 in the MAAC.
Siena sprinted out to a four-goal lead over the Purple Eagles, thanks to three goals by Fernandez. Fernandez opened up scoring with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, finishing a cross from teammate Kris Dillmann in front of the Niagara net. Giving up a late first-half goal has been a common occurrence for the Purple Eagles in recent games, as Niagara has allowed a goal with less than five minutes remaining in the half in three of the last five contests. Fernandez capped off his scoring by adding two header goals early into the second half to give the Saints a commanding 3-0 lead.
"We were completely outplayed and outworked by Siena today," head coach Dermot McGrane said. "We can't expect to win games putting forth that kind of effort."
Siena midfielder John Witkiewicz added another header goal to put the Saints up 4-0.
Down by an insurmountable lead of four goals, Niagara began chipping away at the deficit in the 63rd minute. Senior defender Michael Burger's diving header on a crossed ball by sophomore defender Mark Spooner beat Saints' goalkeeper Patrick Henry and the Siena defense to put the score at 4-1. Burger added a second goal in the 88th minute by finishing a loose ball in front of the Saints' net, but the four-goal lead by Siena proved to be too much.
In the game, Siena out shot Niagara, 19-9, with eight shots on goal compared to five by the Purple Eagles. Burger led Niagara with four shots in the contest.
Henry made three saves for the Saints in picking up his third win of the season. Junior goalkeeper Dan O'Shea made four saves for the Purple Eagles.
The Saints return to action on Wednesday, October 15 when they play host to Colgate. Game-time is scheduled for 3p.m.