Greenville, N.C. (NEWS10) — Siena Women’s Soccer’s special spring season came to an end Wednesday with a 4-0 setback against Arizona State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at Johnson Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University. MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year Leslie Adams made six saves for the Saints who were making the program’s third NCAA Tournament appearance.
“This is where you want to end, North Carolina at the NCAA Tournament,” said senior captain Deanna Lomino. “I don’t think initially the score reflected the effort that was put out today. I think we really did hold our own out there. Just looking back at the season, we made tremendous steps and progress, made history a couple of times, and I honestly couldn’t be more proud of this group and team.”
Arizona State (9-5-2) scored three second half goals to pull away from Siena (6-1-2) and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament to take on No. 9 national seed Duke Saturday at noon at Johnson Stadium.
The Sun Devils out-shot the Saints 24-7 and held a 6-3 margin in corners, but cradled just a one-goal advantage deep into the contest. Arizona State broke through with a pair of second half scores less than eight minutes apart in the 62nd and 70th minutes, respectively, before tacking on a final insurance tally in the waning moments to provide a final score that wasn’t fully indicative of the closeness of the contest.
The Saints created several good scoring chances, most notably in the 31st and 84th minutes. Grace George sent in a tailing cross from the right which skimmed across the crossbar and landed in the goal mouth before being cleared away. Late in the contest, Jayanna Monds appeared to break free and score, only to have the offsides flag raised following the completion of the play.
Nicole Douglas (10’), Lucy Johnson (62’), Lieske Carleer (70’), and Cori Sullivan (89’) scored for the Sun Devils who tallied four goals vs. a stout Siena defense which had allowed only three all spring spanning their first eight matches.
Despite the defeat, the Saints can surely hold their heads high heading into an abbreviated offseason. The Saints overcame a 512-day shutdown between contests, an eighth place prediction in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, an in-season COVID-19 pause, five regular season matches in just 10 days, and numerous other obstacles to capture the program’s third MAAC Tournament Championship and first-ever regular season crown. The foundation is firmly set for a Siena squad which is expected to return the overwhelming majority of its roster as it looks to defend its title heading into the fast approaching traditional fall season.
“It was a short season as far as number of games, but it was the most full and complete season that we’ve ever had,” reflected MAAC Coach of the Year Steve Karbowski. “Just all the things we had to battle through just leading into the season to get to the season, and then just a tremendous run by this group not wanting to lose and playing good soccer. They were so supportive even at the end standing on the bench cheering for each other, so good way to end in that sense, not the result as much, but at the NCAA Tournament is a great way for the season to come to an end.”