LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Sometimes a hot goalie and a big-time scorer is enough to win in lacrosse. On an unseasonably warm afternoon in the Capital Region, Siena's top two players could not have been any hotter. Tom Morr stood tall between the pipes and Bryan Neufeld was the centerpiece of an offense which scored the final five goals of the game as the Saints rallied for a 12-11 win over Stony Brook in the home opener.
After playing its last nine games away from home dating back to last season, the defending MAAC Champions treated their fans to an exciting game in their highly anticipated 2012 debut in Loudonville.
Stony Brook (1-5) extended a modest 5-4 halftime lead, scoring four straight goals in a 3:32 span to take a commanding 9-4 lead early in the third quarter. The Seawolves later took an 11-7 lead following a goal with 25 seconds remaining in the period and seemed to be riding the wave of momentum heading to the fourth.
But Siena (4-3) won the ensuing faceoff and Colin Clive scored a key goal with five seconds left in the third quarter to close the gap to three and give Siena some hope.
Clive's goal touched off a run of five unanswered goals by the Saints to end the game and rally all the way back for the win. Neufeld scored the eventual go-ahead goal and game-winner with 7:02 remaining and the defense did the rest as the Saints earned their first-ever win over Stony Brook in eight tries.
Morr was sensational down the stretch, stopping all six shots he faced in the final period. The senior captain finished with 17 saves for the afternoon.
Neufeld meanwhile recorded a point on four of the final five goals during the decisive run. Neufeld, who scored a career-high seven goals two years ago against the Seawolves, continued his mastery of them. He finished with eight points including five goals and has erupted for 21 points over the last six days during the Saints' three-game winning streak.
Stony Brook received a large chunk of its offense from its man-up unit which converted 4-7 opportunities. Nick Watson paced the Seawolves with a hat trick while Jeff Tundo added a team-high four points.
Clive, Chris D'Alberti and Danny Martinsen all added three points for the Saints which handed Stony Brook their third one-goal loss of the young season. Martinsen ran his scoring streak to 24 straight games and has also scored a goal now in 13 straight.
Freshman Casey Dowd was also strong winning 15-27 faceoffs and picked up five groundballs in just his second collegiate start at the X.
Siena looks to win its fourth in a row Saturday when they host former longtime MAAC rival Providence. The Saints and Friars face-off at 2 p.m. and the game will once again be televised throughout New York State on Time Warner Cable Sports.