LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - With summerlike temperatures reaching well into the 80's, the red-hot Siena lacrosse team looked to match the weather Tuesday at Siena Turf Field. But UAlbany cooled off the Saints as the Green and Gold fell 12-10 in their Capital Region Showdown in front of a crowd of over 1,000 strong.
After snapping a 13-game, 22-year losing streak to their crosstown rivals last year, Siena (10-4) entered today's matchup in good position to make it two in a row as they had won nine of ten entering play. But UAlbany (5-9), which had been heading in the opposite direction, made the most of its opportunity to wrestle back Capital Region bragging rights.
Siena twice blew two-goal leads, the second of which proved to be decisive. With the Saints leading 8-6 early in the third on the heels of three straight scores to reclaim the lead, UAlbany responded with five unanswered goals in less than four minutes to quickly take an 11-8 advantage they would not relinquish.
Ty Thompson recorded a hat trick during that run for the Great Danes, scoring all three of his goals in three and a half minutes. His final tally at 3:08 of the third would prove to be the game-winner.
Thompson's tallies came immediately following a pair of great offensive efforts by Bryan Neufeld. The Siena attackman scored the final two goals during the preceding three-goal run which had put the Saints back on top. Neufeld made dazzling moves on both goals, but it would serve as the final highlights of the day for the Saints which were limited to just two goals over the final 24 and a half minutes of action.
Siena had its chances in the final period, but could not solve UAlbany goalie Edmund Cathers who made six of his 13 saves in the final stanza.
Neufeld and Chris Roth led the Saints with three points on two goals and an assist apiece. Neufeld, who earlier in the day was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week, scored a goal for the 13th straight game and extended the nation's longest active scoring streak to 49 consecutive games.
John Rogener and Chris D'Alberti added two goals apiece, while sophomore long pole Brendan Meehan had a career day on defense. Meehan was the beneficiary of a number of the Saints' 15 faceoff wins and picked up a career-high 10 groundballs while also causing a team-high three turnovers.
Joe Resetarits, Brian Caufield and Miles Thompson all led a balanced UAlbany scoring attack with four points apiece as the Great Danes snapped a four-game losing streak and seven-game road losing streak dating back to last season. Resetarits led the way with a hat trick and has now scored 76 goals over a 32-game goal scoring streak - the longest in the nation.
With the defeat, Siena fell to 9-24 all-time against the Great Danes and 1-8 since UAlbany joined the Division I ranks in 2000. The Saints have also now dropped two of three at home overall after winning 13 straight at Siena Turf Field.
Nonetheless, the Saints conclude non-conference regular season play an impressive 6-3, something they hope will bode well heading into the MAAC Tournament and hopefully well beyond.
But first, the Saints close out the 2011 regular season Saturday when they welcome VMI to Loudonville for a 1 p.m. faceoff in a game that will be televised locally once again on Time Warner Cable Sports. Prior to the game, which also doubles as Alumni Appreciation Day, the Saints will celebrate Senior Day and honor the outstanding careers of their eight seniors.