Oct. 2, 2011
Overtime is usually Siena time. In their previous 10 overtime contests, the Saints had won nine times including five in a row. But this time the Saints succumbed in the extra session as Nicole Paulucci scored her second goal of both the game and her career just 84 seconds into overtime, lifting the Gaels to a 2-1 triumph in New Rochelle.
The defeat capped a disappointing conference opening weekend for the defending MAAC Champion Saints (5-4, 0-2) which emerged without a point and opened conference play 0-2 for the first time since 2007.
Iona (2-8-2, 1-1) meanwhile won for just the second time in the previous 11 meetings with the Saints. Siena had been 8-1-1 prior to Sunday, outscoring the Gaels 22-5.
Paulucci, who struck early in overtime, also scored early in the game to give Iona a quick advantage. She scored just two and a half minutes in, finishing a feed from Carly Haden.
The Saints answered back in the 53rd minute when reigning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week Caitlin Cahalan once again did what she does best - score on free kicks. This time it was a penalty kick for Cahalan who improved to a perfect 4-4 in her career on PK's and now leads the Saints with nine points on the year, eight of which have come in the last four games.
Despite a trio of chances in the final five minutes of regulation, Siena could not cash in sending the game to overtime. In the extra session the Gaels quickly turned the tables.
After the Saints' Laura Ettinger stoned Kerrie Deignan early in the period, seconds later Haden hooked up with Paulucci once again for the golden goal.
Iona outshot the Saints 13-12 in a physical affair in which the teams combined for 27 fouls. Ettinger made six saves in the loss, while the Gaels' Trista Rivera stopped four shots to earn the win.
The Saints will look to dig themselves out of an early MAAC hole when they return to the friendly confines of Siena Field Friday for a 4 p.m. kickoff against Manhattan. The Saints have won 11 straight in Loudonville.