March 19, 2011

Siena Tops Marist, Emerges as MAAC Favorite

from press release

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Siena and Marist were picked first and second respectively in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll entering this season. On Saturday, the coaches looked like they got it right. The Saints and Red Foxes engaged in a highly entertaining, edge-of-your seat affair with Siena prevailing late by a score of 12-10 here at Leonidoff Field and Tenney Stadium in the conference opener for both squads.

Siena (5-2, 1-0), which won its fourth in a row overall and 20th straight MAAC regular season game, was buoyed by a fourth quarter offensive outburst in which the Saints scored five times. Junior midfielder Chris Roth was at the vanguard of the attack, registering a career-high five goals including the go-ahead tally in the fourth.

In what was a back and forth see-saw affair throughout, both teams exchanged huge momentum swings early and often.

Marist (0-5, 0-1) opened an early 4-1 lead but the Saints responded with the next three goals to tie it at 4-4. However, the Red Foxes would reclaim the lead at 6-4 at halftime and built their advantage back to a three-goal cushion at 7-4 early in the third.
 
At that point, the Saints' offense would make its first of two key scoring spurts of the second half, reeling off three goals in less than three minutes. Bryan Neufeld capped the run with a man-down goal to even the tally at 7-7 with 9:15 remaining in the third.

Marist's Jim Marks however responded and completed a hat trick late in the period to put Marist back on top, 8-7 entering the fourth.

But in the final period the Saints would deliver the final knockout punch as the offense came to life once more. Siena scored three goals early in a 2:09 span to reclaim the lead at 10-8 and fend off Marist for the victory.

After registering just one shot in the first half, Neufeld joined Roth in playing a big role in the second half. Neufeld extended the nation's longest active scoring streak to 42 consecutive games with three goals in the final half. His first two tallies tied the game while his final score proved to be the game-winner.

Danny Martinsen also added a hat trick for the Saints which won their sixth in a row over Marist.

As big of a role as the offense played, the defense was equally stout especially in man-down situations. The Saints killed off all seven of Marist's extra-man opportunities and have now been successful on an impressive 85.3% of man-down opportunities this season.

Marks led Marist with his hat trick while Connor Rice, Corey Zindel and Jack Doherty each added a pair of goals. The Red Foxes out-shot Siena 38-25, but couldn't solve Tom Morr who again came up big late making five of his 10 saves in the final period.

The Saints now step back out of conference for their next two games with Binghamton next up on the docket Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. from Siena Turf Field.


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