April 23, 2011

Furious Fourth-Quarter Rally Sends Siena to MAAC Playoffs

from press release

Three years ago, Siena Lacrosse won the program's first and to date only MAAC Championship at the Demske Sports Complex. Saturday, the Saints got their first look this year at Canisius' home field which once again will host the MAAC Championships and liked what they saw. The Saints came from behind late, scoring the game's final five goals and defeated Canisius 12-9 in the process clinching a spot in the MAAC Tournament and a chance to play for another championship in Buffalo.

Siena (10-3, 4-1), which has won nine of their last 10 games, advances to the MAAC Tournament for the fifth straight year after having never qualified for the tournament in the program's first 11 years in the conference.

Early on, it appeared the Saints would have no problem clinching a tournament berth. The Saints led 5-2 at the half and 6-2 midway through the third period before the complexion of the game drastically changed.

Canisius (2-9, 2-3) erupted for five goals in just 4:31, stunning the Saints and taking a 7-6 lead. The Golden Griffins, who scored six times in the third period, would carry an 8-7 advantage into the fourth.

At 12:14 of the fourth, Graham Bergsma scored man-up to give the Griffs a 9-7 lead. With all the momentum against them, the Saints appeared to be in trouble but would quickly turn the tables back around on Canisius.
 
Siena's potent offense, which has been clicking on all cylinders of late regardless of time and situation, again showed no rust when the game entered crunch time. The Saints responded, scoring the final five goals of the game unanswered over a 6:50 span en route to the victory.
Bryan Neufeld and Colin Clive each scored twice down the final stretch, with Clive netting the game-winner. Two of the duo's goals came man-up where the Saints were an impressive 4-for-7 on extra-man opportunities.

Neufeld netted a game-high six points recording a hat trick and adding three assists, easily extending the nation's longest active scoring streak to 48 consecutive games. Clive, who scored four goals two weeks ago in a pivotal conference road win at Jacksonville, tied his career-high with four more goals on Saturday in another impressive road effort by the freshman.

Danny Martinsen added a goal and three assists while Chris Roth chipped in with two goals and an assist for the Saints which reached double figures in wins for the fifth straight season and seventh time in program history.

Zach Triner was once again strong in the faceoff X, winning 11 of 19 draws and picking up six groundballs. He was especially exceptional during the pivotal fourth period, winning six of his seven draws.

Eight different Golden Griffins scored led by Bergsma who tallied two goals.

Siena closes regular season competition with a pair of home games next week. It all starts on Tuesday when the Saints welcome crosstown rival UAlbany to Siena Turf Field for a 5 p.m. faceoff in a game that will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable Sports.


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