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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Timing is everything, and the timing of Machel Baker (Spanish Town, Jamaica) couldn't have been any better in Wednesday night's MAAC soccer match between Quinnipiac University and Siena College. Baker netted the deciding goal late in double overtime to send the Bobcats past the Saints, 2-1; which also keeps a share of the regular season championship alive.
In search of what would be their second straight regular season title, the Bobcats need three points in each of its last two games to give themselves a chance. Quinnipiac, now 8-4-5 overall and 6-1-2 in league play, stands just three points behind Monmouth with each having one game left on the schedule. A Bobcat win and a Monmouth loss would leave the two teams tied atop the table and a share of the regular season championship. A win on Saturday would also jump Quinnipiac over Iona (22) for the second seed in the upcoming tournament.
Quinnipiac couldn't have written a better script for the ending, battling back to erase a one-goal deficit to earn the win. Baker's game-winner broke a 1-1 deadlock in double overtime to complete the comeback bid in thrilling fashion. The goal came in the 108th minute of play when he broke free down the left side of the pitch. Baker drilled his shot passed the outstretched arms of SC goalkeeper Adam Myers for the 2-1 victory. It was the fourth goal of his career, and his first-ever game-winner.
About 40 minutes before that, Quinnipiac tied the game up at one-apiece when Ola Ogunjobi (London, England) scored his first goal of the season to negate the Siena advantage. The veteran forward redirected a header on a ball sent in by Sam Nicol (Edinburgh, Scotland) which beat Myers to tie the score. It was Ogunjobi's fifth career goal, while Nicol picked up his team-leading fourth assist of the season.
On the other side of the ball, one of the nation's strongest defensive units put forth another formidable effort - led by goalkeeper Borja Angoitia (Bilbao, Spain). He made seven saves in the victory which also propelled him into sole possession of second place in most wins (22) for a goalkeeper at Quinnipiac. Quinnipiac leads the MAAC in shutouts (9), goals against average (0.71) and goals allowed (13) this season. The Bobcats entered the game tied for fifth in the nation in shutout percentage and are 16th in goals against average.
Arguably the MAAC's hottest team right now, the win improves Quinnipiac to 7-1-2 over its last 10 games. Siena's goal did snap a four-game shutout streak for the Bobcats, however, they still have clean sheets in 10 of their last 14 games.
With the win, the Bobcats remain undefeated against Siena in the all-time series, winning twice and tying twice in four meetings. Siena, now 7-9-1 overall and 3-5-1 in league play, was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.
Quinnipiac travels to Rider on Saturday, Nov. 9 for its regular season finale. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ben Cohen Field in Lawrenceville, N.J. After that, the Bobcats begin its quest for the MAAC Championship on Friday, Nov. 15 and Sunday, Nov. 17 in Fairfield.
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