Siena women’s soccer wins opener without MAAC Goalie of Year

Siena women’s soccer wins opener without MAAC Goalie of Year

LOUDONVILLE — The Siena women’s soccer team played its season opener on Thursday without senior Leslie Adams, the 2020-21 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, in the net.

Saints head coach Steve Karbowski decided to go instead with redshirt sophomore Brooke Boermeester, who proceeded to show the impressive depth the defending MAAC champions have in goal.

Boermeester made eight saves, Katrina Kurtz and Annie Bagnall scored and the Saints shut out Binghamton 2-0 in a nonleague match at Hickey Field.

“Brooke’s a great goalkeeper, too,” Karbowski said. “We’re blessed to have actually three great goalkeepers on our roster (including sophomore Angela Fini). She’s worked extremely hard. I thought she was well-prepared from the summer and deserved the chance today, and she did a great job.”

Karbowski said Adams and Boermeester will split time at the position. Last spring, Adams played in seven games and Boermeester just two in an abbreviated season that ended with the Saints winning the conference before losing to Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament.

“I think it’s good,” he said. “We’re early in the season, so we’re trying to make a conscious effort to get a lot of players involved and see what they can do, and a lot of them showed really well today so I think that’s good going forward, and get some confidence for some players who haven’t played a lot of minutes.”

Boermeester was stout against repeated Binghamton chances, including a header by Grace Vittoria from just outside the goal area in the 65th minute.

“It was a great first win,” Boermeester said. “They were a really physical team and really strong, so to come out with a win and a shutout was really huge for us to start the season off right. We’re the defending MAAC champ, so it’s nice to get a 2-0 (win) to start us off.”

Boermeester said she found out two days earlier she would get the start. She said she and Adams bring out the best in each other.

“A lot in practice, and I think that’s the best part,” she said. “We all train really hard and I think we push each other to be the best.”

Kurtz scored the first goal of the season in the 22nd minute on a shot from about 40 yards away. Senior Carrie Krohn of Schoharie stole a Binghamton throw-in and passed the ball to Emily McNelis, who directed it to Kurtz for the long-distance shot that beat Binghamton goalie Haylee Poltorak inside the left post.

“Far-out shots are something that we practice a lot, anywhere on the field during practice,” Kurtz said. “It’s something that us midfielders are very confident taking the opportunity when we have it. It’s a big risk, big reward.”

Bagnall added the insurance goal in the 72nd minute on a header on a deflection following Kurtz’s free kick.

The game was originally scheduled for Siena’s grass field but was moved to the artificial turf of Hickey Field because of the threat of inclement weather. It did rain fairly lightly during the contest.

Siena beat Monmouth in the MAAC title game at Hickey Field last spring.

“I will play on anything,” Kurtz said. “I think the team agrees we’ll play on anything. We really loved the turf last season and being back on the grass was an adjustment, but being back here too is very fun for us.”

Siena is coming off just a 113-day turnaround since last season, having played in the non-traditional spring because of COVID-19. That was after having a 512-day layoff between the fall 2019 season and last spring.

“I think (the quick turnaround) helps,” Karbowski said. “We have a short preseason. We come back early August and Aug. 19 is the first game, so no matter when we came back, it’s going to be 10 days to get ready. So the longer that layoff is, maybe the more you’ve got to work on fitness or things like that. So I think it’s definitely a benefit for us.”

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