April 23, 2011

Siena Downs Marist to Reach MAAC Tourney

from press release

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena's seniors weren't about to see their careers come to an end. Three seniors scored key goals and a fourth was outstanding on defense as the Saints defeated Marist 8-6 on Senior Day Saturday at Siena Turf Field. With the win, the Saints clinched the fourth and final spot up for grabs in the MAAC Tournament, while the Red Foxes were eliminated.

Siena (8-7, 3-3) advances to the four-team MAAC Championships for the second straight year and just the third time in the program's 15-year history. The Saints will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament and face second seeded Canisius in the MAAC Semifinals Friday at Mazzella Field on the campus of Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. at either noon or 2:30 p.m.

Prior to the game, the Saints honored their senior class of quad captains Erin Hepper, Burgandy McCurty, Caitlin Mikel and Allie Primo. The winningest class in program history was recognized for its accomplishments prior to today, but it was their achievements on the field Saturday that would take center stage.

Primo struck for the Saints' first goal on a free-position shot to tie the score at 1-1 four minutes into the game. But Marist (6-10, 2-4) responded with three straight scores to take a 4-1 lead at the 17:09 mark.

The resilient Saints battled back to within 5-3 late in the first half before igniting a key turning point in which they would score three times in 31 seconds. Siena scored twice in the final 16 seconds of the half to tie the game and took their first lead of the game 6-5 on a Mikel score just 15 seconds into the second half.

After Shannon Haas tied the game at six all with her third goal of the game at the 25:19 mark, Siena responded right back. Amanda Corso broke down the field and fired home her first goal of the season, the game-winner, with 22:57 remaining. Mikel added a free-position goal with 9:38 left to seal the deal.

Siena's defense did the rest as the Saints snapped a five-game losing streak against Marist, picking up their first win over their rival since 2005. Kristin Concordia made a pair of key saves late on free-position shots, while McCurty and the rest of the back line frustrated the Red Foxes' attack all day long.

McCurty, who matched up on Marist's leading scorer Kelly Condon, held her scoreless. Condon entered the game amongst the MAAC leaders in scoring with 48 points. Marist's second and third leading scorers Ariel Kramer and Jori Procaccini settled for just a goal each.

Siena out-shot Marist 29-19 but the biggest difference came in draw controls where the Saints won 11 to the Red Foxes' five.

Mikel led the way with two goals and an assist while also winning five draw controls. Six additional Saints scored a goal each, while Concordia finished with six saves and a game-high six groundballs.

Now it's on to New Rochelle for the Saints next weekend as they look to claim the program's first-ever MAAC Championship.

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