Cesar Markovic and the Saints are excited to kick off the 2014 season
Aug. 29, 2014
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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena Soccer kicks off Year Two of the Cesar Markovic era Sunday when the Saints host La Salle at 4 p.m. at Siena Turf Field. Gameday Central coverage begins with the pregame show at 3:45 p.m. on SienaAllAccess.com.
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"I am extremely eager and excited to get to work with this group of very talented players," said Markovic. "We have several challenges ahead. I feel we have equipped ourselves to meet these challenges head on. The future of the program is very bright. Soccer fans in the Capital Region, and particularly our fans, will have an attractive and exciting team in Loudonville."
Here's 10 Things to Know About the Saints Heading Into the Season
- Siena is kicking off its 41st varsity season and 39th at the Division I level
- Cesar Markovic enters his second season leading the Saints and 20th as a collegiate head coach (15th at the Division I level). Markovic has compiled 173 wins (115 Division I) at five institutions and led three different programs to the NCAA College Cup. He is the winningest head coach in program history at each of the previous four schools he has worked for.
- The Saints posted a 7-10-1 overall record and finished tied for sixth in the MAAC with a 3-6-1 conference mark last fall
- Siena was projected to finish sixth (of 11 teams) in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
- The Saints return six starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's team and welcome 13 newcomers. 22 of the 30 players on the Saints' 2014 roster are in either just their first or second years with the program.
- Siena features a diverse roster with 11 foreigners hailing from seven different countries (Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Serbia and Spain)
- The Saints return three of their top four scorers from a year ago. Senior midfielder/forward Nathan Olukanmi is the squad's top returning scorer after tallying nine points on two goals and five assists last fall. The Saints also welcome back MAAC All-Rookie Team selection Danilo Markovic who made 16 starts at center back as a freshman
- Siena will have to replace the scoring punch provided by the recently graduated James Beeston who ranked tied for second in the MAAC in assists (eight) and tied for fourth in scoring with 20 points last fall. Beeston graduated as the Saints' all-time career leader in assists (29) and last season was named a Senior CLASS Award Candidate, a Second Team Capital One Academic All-American and an NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I All-North Atlantic Region Second Team selection.
- Beeston and fellow 2014 Siena Soccer graduate Mike Matera recently signed professional contracts with the Western Mass Pioneers of the American Soccer League. The duo are also serving as assistant coaches locally at Division II St. Rose.
- Sunday marks the first of 19 regular season contests for the Saints, which tie
for the most in program history along with the 1986 and 2009 slates. The Saints will play 11 true road matches, which also ties for the most in program history (1989).