The Siena Saints edge out Crosstown Rival University at Albany 2-1 on Thursday after a late push by the Great Danes to try and tie the game. UAlbany falls to 3-6-1 this season.
The Great Danes and the Saints started off the game at a similar offensive pace, with the Saints shooting 14 times compared to UAlbany’s 12. The Saints made the most of their chances, however, as Siena forward Annie Bagnall scored two goals - her third and fourth of the season - in under 30 minutes of game time.
Bagnall’s first goal came from a pass by forward Cora Keohane. Her second goal came off two assists from Micaiah Croce and Danielle Borrino.
UAlbany could not get it together on offense, taking 28 total shots, yet only six of them being on-goal.
“We needed to recognize that the space for us to attack was not in behind that it was in front of their backline,” said UAlbany head coach Sade Ayinde. “So if we find ways to go at their backline and then suck balls in, or find our wide players to go at them one-on-one.”
UAlbany’s only goal came courtesy of Marissa Tava after Siena committed a handball inside their defensive box, resulting in a UAlbany penalty kick. It is her second goal of the season.
The kick came only 30 seconds after what would be The Great Danes last hope at a comeback, where three shots were fired off from close-range at Saints goalkeeper Angela Fini who blocked two shots. The last shot was stopped before reaching Fini.
“Once we got one, we knew like it was doable,” said Tava. “The mindset changes when the momentum changes. So just getting shots off on-goal, it helps so much.”
The Great Danes and Saints have faced off 15 times since 2003, where UAlbany has a losing record sitting at 4-7-4. The last time the Great Danes notched a win against the Saints’ was in a 3-0 blowout in Siena’s own stadium in Loudonville New York in 2018. The previous two matchups resulted in tie games.
The Thursday-night win marks the Saints’ first win of the season putting them at 1-6-2.
“We're a long way into the season to get the first win, so it feels good the team’s been working so hard, training hard, great attitude,” says Siena head coach Steve Karbowski. “I feel they deserve a win, and it was coming soon, but we put it together tonight, a couple first half goals was great, but just happy for them to head home this evening feeling good.”
The Saints’ offense grew much more tactical in the second half, taking only three shots in the second half compared to 14 in the first. The team's mindset had shifted more towards the defensive side of the ball to protect their 2-0 lead. Fini had a great second half with three saves.
Casey Stowell, the freshman midfielder from Arlington New York, had what would appear to be the Great Danes last shot at tieing the game, as she brought the ball down the field, a defender sat before her, a quick foot-fake to the left, followed by a dash to the right, left her defender behind her. She came up short for the goal after putting the ball just to the right of the goal.
The Great Danes host UMass Lowell, who were the preseason favorites on Sept. 25th.