BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mike Birney fired home his fifth goal of the game a minute into overtime, sending fourth seeded Detroit past No. 3 seed Siena 11-10 in the MAAC Championship Game. The Titans rallied from a five-goal second half deficit as Siena suffered its third one-goal MAAC Title Game defeat in the past five years.
In just its fifth season as a men's lacrosse program and fourth in the MAAC, Detroit (5-9) advances to the program's first NCAA Tournament.
Appearing in the program's fifth consecutive MAAC Championship Game, Siena (8-9) raced out to an 8-3 lead. In a rematch of the 2011 MAAC Championship Game here in Buffalo won by the Saints over the Titans 12-3, Siena had all the early momentum.
Senior captain Danny Martinsen capped a four-goal run spanning 2:45 to give Siena the comfortable lead. Martinsen, who was named to the All-MAAC Tournament Team, took just 79 seconds to record a hat trick during the spurt.
Siena led 8-4 at the half and struck first in the second half to go back up by five with 12:52 remaining in the third quarter. Siena seemed on its way to its third championship in five years but then Detroit made its remarkable comeback.
The Titans struck five times in just 5:27 and just like that it was a brand new game at 9-9 with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter. Sophomore Conor Prunty, who tallied a career-high six points, stopped the bleeding in the waning seconds of the period to give Siena the lead back at 10-9 heading to the fourth.
In what had been a high scoring game throughout, both goalies came up big in the fourth quarter. It took more than 11 minutes for the first goal of the period to come when Alex Maini tied things up for Detroit with 3:45 remaining to ultimately send the game to overtime.
Siena won the opening faceoff of overtime but immediately turned it over. Moments late Birney gave Detroit the program's biggest win in its young history. The loss was the Saints fifth one-goal defeat of the season and third in overtime.
Colin Clive finished with three points for the Saints and Nate Barry posted his second straight two-goal game for Siena which saw its eight-game winning streak in Buffalo end and fell for the first time in six MAAC Tournament contests here. Senior Matt Sharp was outstanding in goal in his final game making 14 saves and earned All-Tournament honors.
Birney was named MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player for Detroit and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Jamie Hebden, Jordan Houtby and three-time All-MAAC Tournament Team selection AJ Levell.
Tom Masterson scored four points for the Titans and Alex Maini finished with three for Detroit which out-shot the Saints 48-27.
For Siena, their season ends in heartbreaking fashion for a third time in five years. Mount St. Mary's scored as time expired to beat Siena in the 2010 MAAC Title Game and last season Canisius scored the final four goals including the game-winner with just 1:46 left to take the title.