BALTIMORE, MD - The #1 Saint Peter's College Peacocks (13-5-1) claimed the second MAAC Championship in program history this afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the #3 Iona College Gaels in the Championship Match of the 2010 Chick-fil-A MAAC Soccer Championships. Lebo Pila and Mauricio Jimenez scored the goals for Saint Peter's who will advance to their third NCAA Tournament. Pila was named the MAAC Championships Most Valuable Player and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Assaf Sheleg, Braulio Constantino and Carlos Suarez.
The Peacocks opened the scoring at 25:27 when Pila converted a penalty kick after Iona's Marcellin Biali was given a red card for using his hand in the box to stop what would have been a goal. The Peacocks played a man-up the rest of the match which went into the break with the Peacocks holding a 1-0 lead. The Peacocks outshot the Gaels 15-2 in the opening half.
Mauricio Jimenez scored the eventual game winner at 59:27 as he got behind the defense off a pass from Pila and beat the keeper for a 2-0 lead. Iona did not go quietly as Julian Grajeles scored off a throw-in at 66:16 to cut the Peacocks lead to 2-1. The Gaels had some scoring chances down the stretch, including an apparent goal that was called back on an offsides, but Saint Peter's held their ground and took the MAAC Championship with a 2-1 win.
Saint Peter's outshot Iona 23-6. The Gaels had four corners to the Peacocks three. Michael Jordan made six saves for Iona, while Suarez made two saves for the Peacocks.
This is the second MAAC Championship in program history and will be the third NCAA Tournament appearance for men's soccer. Their last NCAA appearance came in 2007 when they were selected as an at-large time. This is the fifth time in program history that the Peacocks have won 13 games in a season and the first time since 2007. Guy Abrahamson is just the third coach in the history of Saint Peter's College Athletics to take two teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Peacocks senior class is now 37-31-4 in their careers and will now advance to their second NCAA Tournament.
Saint Peter's will await their first round NCAA oppnonent which will be announced tomorrow afternoon between 4:30 and 5pm on ESPNU.