Siena's Magical Tournament Run Ends in MAAC Semifinals

Senior captain Matt Needham capped his Siena career with a goal in his final match donning the Green and Gold
Nov. 8, 2015

Final Stats

Video

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- Elliott Otmani scored twice and Jose Aguinaga added a goal and an assist as second seeded Rider ended No. 6 seed Siena Soccer's MAAC Tournament run 3-2 in the semifinals at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex. Sophomore midfielder Paolino Curto and senior captain Matt Needham scored for the Saints which saw their magical run end after winning two matches in a MAAC Tournament for the first time in program history.

Two-time MAAC Champion Rider (13-5-1) advances to the championship match for the fourth time in program history and make their first appearance in 11 years. The Broncs will face top seeded Monmouth for the title Monday at noon.

The MAAC's top scoring offense, Rider jumped on the Saints (8-10-3) early scoring twice within the first 17 minutes. Aguinaga, who scored twice including the golden goal in the Broncs' 3-2 double overtime victory at Siena last month, opened the scoring in the sixth minute. He then set up Otmani 11 minutes later to give Rider the commanding early lead.

But while the Saints were down, they were certainly not out. Just 89 seconds into the second half Curto gave Siena the spark it needed, finishing a rebound in front.

The Saints would control the second half, building on the momentum gained from Curto's goal. Siena out-shot Rider 7-3 in the second half, while holding a 5-0 margin in corners for the stanza.

But with the tying goal feeling like it was on its way, Otmani got free on a rare second half opportunity for the Broncs and finished his second of the day to push the lead back to two with just 6:16 remaining in regulation.

The persistent Saints still would not go down without a fight though, as just 58 seconds later seniors Tom Allen and Needham connected on a corner kick to give Siena a chance. But it would be the final opportunity Siena would get as their comeback bid fell just short.

 

 

Siena held an 11-9 margin in shots and a 6-3 advantage in corners for the match. Sophomore goalkeeper Gianni Carillo made two saves for Siena which finished the season strong in carrying a five-match unbeaten streak (4-0-1) into the semifinals.

Ryan Baird stopped two four shots for Rider which enters Monday's MAAC Championship Match unbeaten in nine of their last 10 (8-1-1).