New Year, new coach, same result. Siena Lacrosse reeled off six unanswered goals in the third quarter and held on late for a 13-11 season-opening win over Hobart at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The victory is the first in the head coaching career of new Siena Head Coach John Svec.
Danny Martinsen and Chris Roth paced Siena (1-0) with five points apiece including a hat trick from Martinsen who ran his scoring streak to 18 straight games. MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Bryan Neufeld, the nation's all-time active career leader in goals scored, added four more to his already impressive resume.
Siena jumped out to a 7-4 lead at the half before Hobart (0-1) made its first of two scoring surges. The Statesmen scored three times in under three minutes to open the second half and even the score.
But Siena, which ranked eighth nationally in scoring last season and returned eight of its top nine scorers, picked up right where it had left off. The Saints rattled off a run that would be too much for Hobart to overcome, scoring six straight goals in an eight-minute span with five different players finding the back of the net.
Hobart made things interesting late, shutting out the Saints over the final period and scored the game's final four goals, but it was not enough as Siena survived to win its season opener for the first time in four seasons.
Siena goalie Tom Morr, who made a then career-high 19 saves in the NCAA Tournament in the Carrier Dome to end last season, set a new personal record Sunday. The Preseason First Team All-MAAC selection set a new career-high with 20 saves and was phenomenal down the stretch, holding off the Statesmen from coming all the way back.
Hobart out-shot the Saints 55-33 including a 39-11 edge in the second half and was led by Alex Love's four goals. The Statesmen also controlled the face-off X, winning 21 of 28 draws behind Face-off Yearbook Preseason Second Team All-American Bobby Dattilo.
The win for Svec came against his former mentor in Hobart Head Coach T.W. Johnson who Svec spent the last three seasons under as the defensive coordinator for the Statesmen.
The road ahead gets considerably more challenging for Svec and the Saints who return to action next Saturday in Baltimore. For the second straight weekend the Saints will do battle at an iconic lacrosse field when they battle second ranked Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field. Scheduled for a 3 p.m. faceoff, the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.