Siena Heights University beat the Italian National Team coached by former NFL coach John Mackovic 35-3 in Viterbo as quarterback Travis Zajkowski threw for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Donovan Campbell, Raphael Dunson and Payton White all caught touchdown passes and White also rushed for six points, while Dunson returned a punt 63 yards to score.
Earlier in the day as part of a unique double-header at Stadio Com Rochi, Siena Heights University’s women’s soccer team rounded off three games in Italy with a narrow 3-2 defeat to SS Lazio of Serie A in Viterbo.
“It was a thrilling day for Siena Heights players, coaches and families,” said Patrick Steenberge, President of Global Football who organized the overseas visit for the Michigan-based University. “Many thanks to our wonderful Italian hosts, players and their friends and family members on hand to really make this a special day, and to our long time friend, Italian team head coach, John Mackovic.”
The Italians scored first with a 30-yard Stafano Di Tunisi field goal on the hosts’ opening possession. The response from the Saints was immediate and Zajkowsky connected with Campbell for a 35-yard touchdown pass and Matthew Horton tagged on the first of five extra points on the afternoon for a 7-3 lead.
Having stopped Italy, Siena Heights scored again when Dunson returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 advantage. The running back scored again, this time on a 69-yard pass from Zajkowsky to earn the Americans a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Dunsun returned the second half kickoff to the Italian ten-yard mark to set up a White five-yard touchdown dash three plays later and open a 25-point lead following the PAT. The scoring was complete in the third quarter when Zajkowsky found White for a 24-yard scoring pass.
Siena Heights University’s women’s soccer team rounded off three games in Italy with a narrow 3-2 defeat to SS Lazio of Serie A in Viterbo.
The Saints found themselves trailing 2-1 at halftime with Kacey Lawniczak finding the target, assisted by Kelsey Young.
Saturday morning near Rome provided perfect soccer conditions with sunny weather 62 degrees temperatures and a cool breeze.
Lazio went 3-1 ahead early in the second half, but in a hotly contested encounter, the Saints put pressure on their hosts with a goal from a corner kick by Kelsey Young with five minutes remaining.
The Italians held on to win 3-2 despite a late surge of pressure from Siena Heights.
Earlier in the week, as part of a 10-day visit with Global Football to Rome, Florence, Sienna and Viterbo from May 5-13, the Saints played two contests against Firenze of the Italian Serie A League, losing 2-0 and 3-1.
Alexis Donnelly scored the Saints’ lone goal of the day, putting SHU ahead in game two. Firenze answered with three consecutive tallies, finishing with a 24-9 shot advantage.
Siena Heights goalkeeper Crystal Wilcoxen had eight saves in the second game. SHU put three shots on net.
In game one, Caitlyn Kort finished with six saves. Firenze held a 22-6 advantage in shots, while the Saints had four shots on goal.