May 6, 2012
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - MAAC Rookie of the Year Tim Edwards scored with 1:46 remaining, sending No. 3 seed Canisius to a dramatic 10-9 win in the MAAC Championship Game over regular season champion Siena Lacrosse Sunday afternnoon at Tenney Stadium. Canisius scored the game's final four goals and held the Saints scoreless for the last 32 minutes.
Canisius (6-7) wins its second MAAC Championship (2008) and earns the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament and will learn who it will play when the Field of 16 is released at 9 p.m. this evening.
The loss ends the careers of a phenomenal Siena (11-5) senior class. The Class of 2012 had a tremendous ride, playing in four MAAC Title Games and won the conference championship twice. The seniors graduate as the winningest class in program history with 48 victories to their names and played a huge role in putting Siena Lacrosse on the national map.
But a career full of accomplishments serves as little solace in the interim as Siena fell for the second time in three years in the MAAC Championship game here in Poughkeepsie, with both games being decided in excruciating fashion in the final two minutes.
Early on Siena's high powered offense, which entered the day ranked fourth nationally in scoring, looked like it may break the MAAC Title Game record for goals scored.
The Saints scored five times in a wild first period and led 9-6 at the half in a game that looked like it would finish in a shootout. Winners of 27 in a row when leading at the half, Siena seemed to be in driver's seat heading into the final stanza.
But Canisius' defense, led by senior goalie Sean Callahan, stepped up in a big way in the second half. Callahan stopped all five shots he faced in the final half as the Griffs slowly chipped away at the deficit.
Canisius scored just once in the third period themselves, but came through when they needed to in crunch time. Jimmy Haney tied things up with just 3:29 remaining, preceding the decisive tally from Edwards in the closing minutes.
Senior captain Chris D'Alberti led the Saints with a career-high tying five points including a hat trick, while Danny Martinsen added three goals of his own. The duo along with goalie Tom Morr was later named to the All-MAAC Tournament Team.
Canisius held the nation's second leading scorer and MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Bryan Neufeld to just two assists - his only points of the tournament. Despite being held without a goal in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, Neufeld ends his illustrious run at Siena as the program's second all-time leading scorer with 240 points.
Haney led Canisius with four goals and was named the MAAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Callahan and defenseman Brendan Murphy were also named to the All-MAAC Tournament Team for Canisius which will enter the NCAA Tournament on a four-game winning streak.
Simon Giourmetakis added two goals and an assist for Canisius which got into the MAAC Tournament by defeating Marist here in Poughkeepsie last weekend and then won a tiebreaker.
Prior to last Saturday, Canisius had not won in Poughkeepsie in 20 years. Eight days and three wins later, they are headed to the NCAA Tournament.