BUFFALO, N.Y. - For a fifth straight year Siena Lacrosse will play in the MAAC Championship Game. The third seeded Saints raced out to a 6-1 lead and held off Co-Regular Season Champion and No. 2 seed Jacksonville 11-8 in the MAAC Semifinals at the Demske Sports Complex.
Siena (8-8) will face fourth seeded Detroit in the MAAC Title Game Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN3 and Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. The Titans upset top seeded Marist 7-6 to set up a rematch of the 2011 MAAC Championship won by the Saints here in Buffalo 12-3. Siena defeated Detroit earlier this season 13-10 on Apr. 13 in Loudonville.
It was another balanced scoring effort for the Saints as seven players recorded a goal and nine tallied points. Colin Clive led the way with a game-high four points on two goals and two assists and Danny Martinsen added three points for the Saints which are peaking down the stretch having won six of seven.
Siena scored twice in the first three and a half minutes and raced out to a quick 4-0 lead after the first quarter. The Saints, which never trailed, received a boost all night long from their man-up unit which provided the difference going a perfect 4-4.
TJ Kenary tallied a hat trick in the second quarter for Jacksonville (8-5), rallying the Dolphins within 7-4 at the half. Conor Igoe later scored the second of two Jacksonville goals in a 52-second span as the Dolphins ultimately got as close as two, 8-6 with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter.
But that would be as close as Jacksonville would come as the Saints responded with the next three goals and Matt Sharp did the rest in goal finishing with 13 saves, giving Siena an opportunity Sunday to win its third championship in five years.
Kyle Curry and Nate Barry added a pair of goals for the Saints which have won eight in a row in Buffalo including both the 2009 and 2011 MAAC Championships. Siena is a perfect 5-0 here in the MAAC Tournament in addition to winning three straight against Canisius, outscoring its opponents 89-42.
Cameron Mann and Ari Waffle added two points for Jacksonville which out-shot the Saints 42-29. MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Pete DeLuca had no answer for the Saints as he made just four saves in the Dolphins final game as a member of the MAAC Lacrosse League.
Sunday's Championship Game will be blacked out in the Capital Region on ESPN3, but will air live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Ch. 50 (SD) and 1803 (HD). Those outside the Capital Region can view the game on ESPN3 without restrictions.