|Jaspers Hold Off Siena For 1-1 Draw|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan Men's Soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw with the Siena Saints on Friday night in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action at Gaelic Park.
The tie keeps the Jaspers (2-12-1; 2-3-1 MAAC) unbeaten in their last three games following a two straight road wins last weekend. It marks the first time in over a decade that Manhattan has gone three straight games without a loss.
The Saints were extremely aggressive throughout the game, effectively dominating time of possession, but were unable to truly capitalize and find quality scoring chances. In the first half, their best opportunity came off a header from James Beeston that was easily saved by George Ellis.
The Jaspers, despite not having possession a lot, found multiple chances in the box. They finally broke through in the 56th minute when Jason Iannone ripped a shot from the left side of the box that was blocked by a Saints defender. The carom rolled to the feet of Daniel Festa who spun around his defender and buried a shot in the bottom left corner to give Manhattan a 1-0 lead.
Siena kept their pressure on taking 18 shots in the second half, but the combination of Ellis and the Manhattan backline kept their advantage intact. Sindre Ek constantly put pressure on net firing a game high six shots for the Saints. There were even a few times where Ellis was caught out of position leaving an open net. However, Samuel Howard, Christopher Holihan, and others did not allow an equalizer.
In the 86th minute, with Manhattan on a counter-attack, Deia Nassar was whistled for foul which he argued that brought out a yellow card. The card allowed Siena keeper Jack Binks to take the free kick. He sent it spiraling towards the box as it rattled around on the turf, Joshua Vlasich was able to fire a shot in the upper right corner past a diving Ellis to tie the contest.
The game would go in to overtime with the Saints continuing their intense pace. Just fifty-three seconds into the extra time, forward Eugene Heerschapp was given a red card for an intentional late slide tackle forcing the Jaspers to play a man down. After a scoreless first overtime, it seemed as though the Saints with tally a game-winner with back-to-back corner kicks that were deflected away by the defense. With time ticking down, Trevor Chiduku received a brilliant ball and beat his defender to streak down the left side of the field. As he reached closer to the goal he tried a shot with the right foot that sailed wide left, ending the final quality chance of either team.
Ellis made a total of 13 saves in the contest while Binks registered just three in the second half with both allowing one goal. The Saints outshot Manhattan 28-13 in the game but the Jaspers took a total of seven corner kicks to the Saints four. Along with Chiduku, Nassar, and Heerschapp, Tommy Amos was also booked with a yellow card.
Manhattan concludes their 2011 home slate at 10 a.m. on Sunday Oct. 23 when they host Marist. Prior to the game, seniors Anthony Florez, along with Chiduku, Nassar, and Holihan will be honored as they play their final match at Gaelic Park.