POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Darren Cooper scored just 15 seconds into sudden death overtime as No. 3 seed Niagara abruptly ended second seeded Siena's season 2-1 Thursday night in the MAAC Semifinals at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field. Siena finishes one of the most productive seasons in school history with a 10-7 overall record.
Off the opening kickoff of overtime, Cooper broke down the right side and lofted a shot inside the near right post to send Niagara (12-1-4) to Saturday's MAAC Championship match.
An evenly played game throughout remained scoreless into the 78th minute. Roberto Andersson opened the scoring for the Purple Eagles, putting in a rebound off a blocked shot.
The resilient Saints would answer back just 25 seconds later. Off a turnover deep in the Niagara zone, James Beeston led a cutting Matt Hemsley wide to the right who fired home his first goal of the season.
Siena had the majority of chances the rest of the way in regulation, but could not take advantage. The Saints held a 15-12 edge in shots and an 11-6 advantage in corner kicks.
Damian Liesemann made five saves for Siena while MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Brett Petricek stopped four shots for the Purple Eagles which avenged their only loss of the season. Niagara entered the matchup receiving 17 votes in the latest NSCAA Coaches' Poll - the 26th highest total in the nation.