Nov. 9, 2002
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Sophomore C.J. Melilli (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) scored three goals to lead the Siena College men's soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Marist College at Siena Field today. The win clinches a MAAC Tournament berth for the Saints who are now 5-9-3 overall and 5-2-2 in the MAAC. The loss drops the Red Foxes to 7-9-1 on the season and 6-3-0 in conference play.
Melilli kicked off the scoring in the first half after receiving a pass from classmate Tom Santoro (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga), placing the ball in the bottom right-hand corner of the net and giving the Saints the 1-0 lead. Neither team managed to score again as Siena took the one-goal lead into halftime.
Marist tied the game up early in the second half, at the 47:22 mark, on a direct kick by Chris Zitkevitz that sailed above Saint goalkeeper Jonathan Hicks' (Merrick, N.Y./Chaminade) head.
The Saints answered quickly, however, as Melilli scored what proved to be the gamewinner some 30 seconds later. Two minutes after that, Melilli put his third tally away off a throw in by freshman T.J. Helly (Carmel, N.Y./Carmel) that Marist keeper John Balzarini could not get his hands on. Less than two minutes after Melilli's third goal, Santoro got his head on a cross by junior Vinny Russo (Staten Island, N.Y./Marymount Int'l) putting the Saints up by three and giving them the eventual 4-1 victory.
Hicks had five saves in the net for the Saints while Mark Giardino (Hauppauge, N.Y./Hauppauge) stopped one Marist shot. Balzarini and Mike Valenti each had two saves for the Red Foxes.
The Saints, who wrapped-up their regular season today, will next head to the MAAC Tournament set to be played on November 15-17.