Siena blows past Saint Peter’s 5-1
Vlasich scores twice to spark Saints to MAAC tourney victory
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- No. 10 seed Siena is heading to the MAAC quarterfinals and the match wasn't in doubt for long. The Saints erupted for three first-half goals and upended defending MAAC champion and No. 7 seed Saint Peter's 5-1 on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the MAAC Tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.
After scoring just 11 goals in the team's first 16 games this season, the Saints scored at will on Thursday. Matt Hemsley got Siena on the board in the fifth minute, heading in a free kick from James Beeston and the Saints never looked back.
Joshua Vlasich subbed into the game in 32nd minute and quickly helped Siena put the game away. He entered on a corner kick which found his boot at the top of the box. After his initial shot was stopped by Saint Peter's keeper Diego Mendoza, Vlasich fired home the rebound.
Four minutes later, Vlasich was the beneficiary of a failed clear and volleyed home a picture-perfect shot from 30 yards out to give Siena a commanding 3-0 lead.
The Saints kept the pressure on into the second half and tacked on two more goals early in the stanza from Daniel Alderstad and David Bonzerato to complete the rout and eliminate the defending MAAC Champions from tournament contention.
The Peacock's Andrew Kelly headed home a rebound off a shot that hit the crossbar in the 77th minute to give Saint Peter's its only highlight.
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Saint Peter's outshot the Saints 11-10 on the day, although Siena held a 10-4 edge in corners.
Entering the match, each of Siena's games this season had been decided by one goal or less. The four-goal margin of victory was Siena's largest since a 7-1 victory late last year against Saint Peter's.
Not to be overlooked, Siena keeper Jack Binks was exceptional once again in goal. He made all four of his saves during the first half, but none bigger than his stop in the 34th minute.
Off the ensuing kickoff following Vlasich's first goal that made it 2-0, Siena was whistled for a foul in the box setting up a penalty kick. The Peacocks' Harry Newman fired a bullet along the ground to the right but Binks made a tremendous diving save to his left, knocking the ball out of bounds.