ALBANY -- Each team came to Tom & Mary Casey Stadium with pretty good unbeaten streaks, and each team left with them intact.
Only a few miles separate UAlbany and Siena College, and nothing separated them in women's soccer on Wednesday night, as they tied 1-1 in a non-conference game.
Each team scored on penalty kicks in the second half, and each team's goalie made a difficult game-saving stop late ... so each team walked off the field with a useful momentum-maintaining performance as they approach the heart of their respective conference schedules.
"A tie is OK," Siena head coach Steve Karbowski said. "It's 110 minutes, it's a hard-fought game, a tight and tough opponent, so this'll help us going forward, because I think we played really well for great stretches of the game."
"Any time we get together, it's a decent game," UAlbany head coach Nick Bochette said. "We knew they were going to have their moments, and that's why they're unbeaten in their last five games.
"We've been playing since August, and we want to be playing our best stuff around now."
The Saints (2-5-3) have two victories and three ties in their last five going back to Sept. 8, and the Great Danes (4-3-2) have won four of their last six, with two ties, going back to Sept. 1.
Freshman Leah Pais scored her first college goal for UAlbany on a penalty kick with 26:45 left in the second half.
Siena appeared to have cleared a free kick, but Pais was tripped and made it 1-0 by shoving her shot low and inside the left post, the third penalty kick given up by the Saints this season.
"It was a big goal, it was my first ..." Pais said, chuckling when Bochette chimed in with "First of many."
"I'm a striker, that's what I'm supposed to do. What I do is use my peripheral vision to see which way the goalie is going."
Siena got one back with 14:55 left on a penalty kick by Darby D'Angelo that was set up when the speedy Jayanna Monds made a long run up the middle and was taken down deep in the left side of the box before she could get off a shot with two UAlbany defenders converging on her.
"Anybody that watches Jay knows she's incredibly quick," Siena goalie Taylor Dorado said. "She's really fast and has a great work ethic, so I'm not really surprised that she made that huge run. She's a really great asset up there."
The Great Danes could have been up 2-0 at that point, if not for a spectacular diving save by Dorado, a senior from Guilderland High School.
UAlbany's Christina Cernuto's left-footed rocket forced Dorado to her right, and she got a hand on it for her biggest save of the night in the 73rd minute.
Her UAlbany counterpart, Sophia Chen, saved the day for the Great Danes with just a few seconds left in the first 10-minute overtime, shifting to her right and leaping to punch a hard shot by Brianna Montinard just over the crossbar.
"One of the hardest parts about being a goalkeeper is staying engaged when you haven't been constantly busy," Bochette said. "In the second half, we were putting Taylor Dorado under much more pressure than our goalkeeper, so I was really happy with how she stayed focused on the game and stayed in the right position. That might look like it's straight over her head, but the ball moved and she had to move with it."
It was the first tie between the teams since 2007.
Nobody was complaining.
"We've had a tough time with them in recent years, so it's a good result, but I'm really impressed with how we played," Karbowski said. "We stood up and played well, our possession was good, we defended well and didn't give up anything in the run of play."
"I was really happy with how aggressive we were in the second half," Bochette said. "We created a lot of chances in the second half and overtime, and certainly want to clean up some stuff, but we were happy with the amount of chances we created."
Siena 0 1 0 0 -- 1
UAlbany 0 1 0 0 -- 1
Siena scoring: D'Angelo 1-0. UAlbany scoring: Pais 1-0. Goalies: Siena, Dorado, 11 saves. UAlbany, Chen, 5 saves.