Niagara Upsets Iona in MAAC Men's Soccer Championship

Courtesy:  MAAC Sports
Release:  November 13, 2009
Niagara's John Fiutowski
Niagara's John Fiutowski
Courtesy: MAAC Sports

Box Score

Fairfield, CT - Fourth-seeded Niagara University defeated top-seeded Iona College, 3-0, on penalty kicks after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in the second semifinal game of the 2009 MAAC Men's Soccer Championship at Lessing Field on the campus of Fairfield University.

The Purple Eagles will meet second-seeded Loyola University Maryland in the championship game on Sunday at noon. The game can be seen live on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network. The winner of the MAAC Men's Soccer Championship will receive an automatic berth to the 2009 NCAA Division I Championship.

Iona took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when forward Fernando Liserra put away a rebound off a shot from midfielder Mario Rios. Niagara was reduced to ten men in the 56th minute, but Purple Eagles' freshman forward Bryan DaCruz tied the game in the 78th minute when he got his head to a corner kick by Carl Haworth.

The first overtime period began with each team at 10 players after Iona had a player sent off in the 89th minute, however, Niagara went down another man with a minute remaining in the first overtime, giving Iona a 10-9 advantage. After neither team could break the deadlock in the two sudden-victory overtime periods, the game headed to penalty kicks.

Niagara's first three shooters, Haworth, Stephen Kauble, and Anthony DiBiase, converted their spot kicks, while Purple Eagles goalkeeper John Fiutowski saved all three shots he faced to send Niagara to the championship game.

Niagara is now 7-9-3 on the year, while Iona moves to 14-2-3.

Click here for post-game reaction from Niagara head coach Dermot McGrane.

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