Nov. 4, 2011
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. - For a time this week it seemed as though Cinderella's slipper might be a good fit for the Saints. But on Friday, the clock struck midnight on Siena's season. After playing to a scoreless tie for 110 minutes, No. 2 seed Iona defeated No. 10 seed Siena 4-3 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Championships at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.
Iona (15-3-1) advances to play No. 6 seed Manhattan in the MAAC Semifinals Sunday afternoon.
After defeating the Gaels three weeks ago when they were ranked 16th in the nation, Siena (5-9-4) once again gave Iona all it could handle for 110 minutes and beyond.
Siena looked like the well rested squad while Iona struggled at times to adjust to the Floridian heat. Both teams had several chances in regulation and in overtime, but the game seemed destined for a shootout.
Siena's best chance came with 30 seconds remaining in double overtime, but Joe Miner's header was saved brilliantly by Iona's Borja Barbero diving to his left to preserve the tie. Meanwhile Iona's best chance came in the 79th minute when an Ansger Otto blast nailed the crossbar.
Both teams scored on their first two attempts, before Iona took a 3-2 lead in the third round. Siena's Nick Viaggio had his tying attempt saved by Barbero putting the Saints season on the brink.
But Jack Binks came up with a huge save on Iona's Adam Rohan and Joshua Vlasich followed that up with a conversion, sending things to a fifth and ultimately deciding round with the shootout tied 3-3.
The Gaels MJ Nestor would open the fifth round with a goal, putting all the pressure squarely on the shoulders of the Saints' Jannis Opalka. With the Saints' season on the line, Opalka aimed for the top left corner but his shot went sailing wide as the Gaels rejoiced while Siena agonized.
Siena out-shot Iona 20-17 for the game and took seven corners to the Gaels' four.
Binks was called upon to make just one save, but finishes his freshman season with a 0.89 goals against average - a new program single-season record.
Meanwhile Barbero made three saves for Iona which entered today's match ranked 24th nationally in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll.