Oct. 1, 2010
For all the non-conference wins the Saints have piled up this year, no victories are as big as the ones you earn within the conference. Senior captains Tabitha Tice and Cara Riley each scored as Siena remained the only undefeated and untied team in the nation and more importantly moved to 1-0 in the MAAC with a 2-1 triumph at Manhattan in the conference lid-lifter.
"The MAAC games are a whole different season," reflected head coach Steve Karbowski. "Every team starts fresh and the non-conference records get thrown out. So to go on the road in a Friday night game and play the way we did was a great way to get the MAAC season started."
After playing to a scoreless first half in which both teams didn't muster much offense, things quickly picked up after intermission as all three goals were scored within a seven minute span in the first nine minutes after the break.
Tice got the Saints' (9-0, 1-0) on the board just 2:08 into the second half when she fired a shot from the top of the 18' that found its way just past the keeper and under the crossbar.
The advantage would be short-lived however as Manhattan (2-7-1, 0-1) answered back in the 51'. The Jaspers had limited opportunities throughout and managed just three shots, but a missed hit on a clear led to a breakaway by Caroline Morse to even the score.
But Riley, who has had a knack for coming up with the key goal throughout her career, added yet another which proved to be the difference. Riley put a shot from the top of the box up and over the keeper that clanged in off the crossbar to give the Saints the lead for good. Of Riley's now 10 career goals, six have been game-winners.
"She's such a valuable player and does all the little things you don't notice as far as pressuring, winning balls, distributing possession and controlling the center midfield," said Karbowski of Riley. "She's also really driven to step up and take chances and score goals once in awhile and like tonight they usually are pretty big."
Siena out-shot Manhattan 14-3 and took three corners to the Jaspers' two. Laura Ettinger
made a pair of saves to earn her sixth win of the year in goal.
The Saints return to the pitch Sunday at Saint Peter's in a 1 p.m. kickoff.