Rider Advances Past Siena into MAAC Championship on PKs
Men's College Soccer
Rider University 2, Siena College 2, Rider 3-1 PKs
HAMDEN, CT – 2016 MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Ryan Baird made three saves in PKs as the Rider University men’s soccer team advanced past Siena, 3-1, Friday afternoon into Sunday’s MAAC Championship Game. Senior Christian Flath clinched the win in PKs, converting his attempt in the fifth round. The Broncs will face top-seeded Quinnipiac on the Bobcats’ home field, Sunday at 1 p.m. The two teams played to a 2-2 tie through 110 minutes, forcing the shootout. The defending MAAC Tournament Champions, Rider advances to the championship match for the second-straight year.
“Our guys never give up,” said Rider Assistant Coach Victor Kotynski. “We went down and they just kept fighting. We got the goal. I never lost faith in the guys, they never lose faith in each other and we knew that if we had a chance, we would take it. You look at the shootout, we go down and Baird comes up big and pulls us back in. We did it.”
The Broncs took a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute, when Flath, playing in his first game since suffering a broken nose in the regular-season contest against Siena on Oct. 8, finished an Elliott Otmani cross on one touch. But just 40 seconds later, a Siena cross was deflected into the net by a Broncs back to even the score.
Siena took its first lead of the game in the 51st minute, when the Saints were awarded a penalty kick and Alexander Tejera converted the chance. Rider got the equalizer in the 76th minute when Otmani distributed his second assist of the game, finding Clement Bourret at the right post for the tap in.
The two teams played the final 14 minutes of regulation and the two 10-minute overtime sessions scoreless, sending it to penalty kicks.
“I was really excited about this game because (the regular season game against Siena) was when I broke my nose,” said Flath. “I was really looking forward to this game because I wanted to get it back and show that we are the better team. I think it was a very hard game today. Siena did a great job but we never gave up and we believed in ourselves.”
The first two Rider PK’s missed the target, with Siena’s Milorad Sobot making the Saints’ first try for a 1-0 lead. But Baird stopped three-straight Siena PKs to revive the Broncs’ chances. Fernando Pena and Adrien Huss each found the back of the net to give the Broncs a 2-1 lead before Flath calmly converted the clincher.
“That’s why we came here,” said Flath on getting back to within one win of a second-straight league title. “We wanted to win and we believe we can do it again. It’s going to be a very tough game again. After a game like this, we know we can do it.”
MSOC: HL at Quinnipiac 11/13/16
MSOC: HL vs. Siena 11/11/16
MSOC: HL vs. Saint Peter's 11/02/16
MSOC: HL vs. Iona 10/19/16
MSOC: HL vs. Siena 10/8/16
MSOC: Alumni Halftime Ceremony 10/1/16
MSOC: HL vs. Niagara 10/1/16
MSOC: Pregame Captain Ceremony vs. Niagara 10/1/16
MSOC: HL vs. Seton Hall 9/27/16
MSOC: Pregame Captains Ceremony 9/27/16
MSOC: HL vs. Temple 9/10/16
MSOC: 2016 Outlook
MSOC: Inverso MAAC Interview
MSOC: NCAA Preview 11/16/15
MSOC: HL vs. Monmouth 11/9/15
MSOC: HL vs. Siena 11/8/15
MSOC: HL vs. Quinnipiac 10/31/15
MSOC: 2015 Senior Day