Feb. 25, 2012
Last season perennial national title contender Johns Hopkins toppled the Saints by a 10-goal margin in a one sided affair. A program on the rise, Siena showed Saturday that the gap between them and the nation's elite is quickly shrinking. Third ranked Johns Hopkins scored the game's final three goals, fending off a serious threat from Siena in a 9-5 final at historic Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md.
In what appeared to be a fairly evenly matched battle throughout, Siena (1-1) hung around for almost the entire game. Although they never led, the Saints remained within two goals for three-plus quarters. Johns Hopkins (3-0) took a 3-1 first quarter lead, but after that the teams traded goals as Siena remained within a goal or two until deep into the contest.
But Siena's early deficit proved to be just a bit too much to overcome. The Blue Jays held 12-5 edge in shots in the opening quarter including a 10-4 margin in groundballs and won all five faceoffs. But Siena would not go away.
Chris Roth scored a pair of goals in the first half and Danny Martinsen added the other as the Saints narrowed the deficit to 4-3 at the half. Martinsen also added an assist in running his scoring streak to 19 straight games.
Siena remained as close as 6-5 with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter on Conor Prunty's first collegiate tally, but could get no closer. Siena, which was shutout in the fourth quarter in their season opener vs. Hobart, was unable to score again in the final period and managed just one shot.
Lee Coppersmith, Zach Palmer and Wells Stanwick led Johns Hopkins with two goals apiece. The Blue Jays entered the game ranked third nationally in the USILA Coaches' Poll and second in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll which included a first place vote. For 60 minutes though, Siena showed it might not be far off the pace.
Tom Morr had another yeoman like effort in goal registering 12 saves and picked up a team-high four groundballs. Colin Clive added the other Siena goal as Bryan Neufeld, the nation's leading active goal scorer and third active career points leader, was held scoreless for just the second time in his career.
Johns Hopkins out-shot Siena 36-21 and held a 31-23 edge in groundballs. The Blue Jays also won 15 of 18 faceoffs against the Saints which fell to 1-11 all-time against nationally ranked opponents.
Siena continues its grueling season-opening stretch of playing their first six games of the year away from home when they take on St. John's next Saturday at 3 p.m. in Queens.