End of An Era
Oct. 29, 2011
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena Women's Soccer said goodbye to one of the greatest classes in program history Saturday. Unfortunately, the seniors did not get quite the sendoff they had hoped for as Marist's Amanda Epstein scored just two minutes into overtime, propelling the Red Foxes to a 3-2 victory.
Siena (7-7-3, 2-4-3) honored its seven-member senior class prior to kickoff. Despite the defeat, the seniors finished with an impressive 49-18-7 overall record and their .709 win percentage was the highest of any class in program history.
It was however a freshman that would get the Saints going early. Off a throw in by senior back Shannon Clancy deep down the right side of the field, the inbounds found classmate Ashleigh Barone. Barone tip-toed the back line and fed a pass in front to the freshman Danielle Christiano who was left unmarked and scored to give Siena a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute.
Marist (12-5-1, 7-1-1) pressured the Saints immediately to start the second half and netted the equalizer just 30 seconds after halftime. Epstein beat her defender down the right side and centered a pass to Rycke Guiney who fired it home for her eighth goal of the year.
The Red Foxes would not let up from there and scored the go-ahead goal just five minutes later. Off a corner kick from the left by Guiney, she found the head of Chelsea Botta who knocked it in for her first goal of the season.
In the closing minutes, Siena pulled out all the stops to try and get the equalizer. In the 84th minute, Barone would wow the crowd one final time with one of her signature finishes.
Maria Jones sent in Barone on a long ball down the right. Barone beat the keeper to the ball, dribbled around her, and fired into the vacant net with just 6:41 remaining.
With three points in her final game, Barone moved into fifth place on the MAAC's all-time scoring list with 106 career points.
But just 2:12 into overtime, Epstein ended the brilliant career of Barone and her six fellow seniors. Melanie Rigo sent a pass right to left across the goal line to Epstein who tipped it in just inside the far left post to win the game.
For the first time since Oct. 18, 2009, the Saints walked off Siena Field with a defeat as the loss snapped a 15-game home unbeaten streak.
Marist out-shot Siena 14-8 and attempted all three corners. Senior Laura Ettinger played the first half in goal and saved all six shots she faced in a strong final effort.
Caitlin Landsman made two saves to earn the win for Marist, which heads into next weekend's MAAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed following their regular season championship.
Siena meanwhile finished its 2011 season by posting its fourth straight .500 or better season and eighth in the past nine years although the Saints ended the year winless over their final six games (0-3-3).