May 8, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Siena wasn't about to let another championship slip through their hands. A year after one of the most excruciating losses in program history, the Saints showed no mercy in thumping Detroit 12-3 in a one-side MAAC Championship Game at the Demske Sports Complex. Siena, which wins its second MAAC Tournament Championship and sets the program single-season record for wins with 13, receives the MAAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
A month after suffering their first conference home loss in three years to Detroit (6-10), the Saints (13-4) had revenge on their minds on the biggest stage and came through in a big way. In what was billed as a conference championship game at the start, the contest quickly turned into a laugher.
After a sluggish first period from both squads in which the Saints' nursed a 2-0 lead, the high powered offense came to life. Siena reeled off three goals in the first five minutes of the second period and the game was all but over at halftime with the Saints holding a comfortable 7-0 cushion.
It would take Detroit 30 and a half minutes to finally score their first goal as Tim Lehto made it 7-1 26 seconds into the second half. But the goal would not swing momentum as the Saints responded with three straight goals to take a 10-1 lead and cinch the title.
Siena out-shot Detroit 40-34 including a 33-21 margin over the first three periods when it was still a game. A month after Detroit captured 26 more groundballs than the Saints in the Titans win in Loudonville, Siena was dominant in winning the loose balls today and held a commanding 37-20 advantage in groundballs.
The Saints were also able to control possession throughout, thanks in large part to a phenomenal effort in the faceoff-X. Siena's faceoff specialists Zach Triner and Chris Brancato won 15 of 18 faceoffs with Brancato a perfect 5-for-5.
Freshman Colin Clive, who only moved into a starting attack role a month ago, capped a monster MAAC Tournament with a game-high four points including a hat trick and game-winning goal and was named the MAAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Clive, who has scored 23 points including 19 goals in seven games since becoming a full-time starter, posted nine points here in Buffalo this weekend.
Senior captain John Rogener had one of the finest games of his career as he joined Clive on the All-Tournament Team. Rogener tallied a hat trick and was tremendous on both ends of the field as he captained the Saints to the title.
Tom Morr also posted one of his finest games of the year in goal, keeping Detroit off the scoreboard with his 12 saves as Siena won its second MAAC Title in making its third straight MAAC Championship Game Appearance.
Bryan Neufeld and Danny Martinsen, who totaled 10 and nine points respectively over the weekend, each contributed three points apiece as Siena improved to a perfect 4-0 in the MAAC Tournament here at the Demske Sports Complex and has now won six in a row overall on this field.
Lehto, Scott Harris and John Nowicki accounted for all of the Detroit goals which all came on individual efforts and were unassisted. The Titans sorely missed MAAC Rookie of the Year Shayne Adams up front on attack who tore his ACL with just 11.8 seconds to go in Friday's MAAC Semifinals win over Marist.
Siena won't have to wait long to learn where it will be headed in next weekend's NCAA Tournament. The field of 16 will be revealed with NCAA Tournament Men's Lacrosse Selection Show at 9 p.m. tonight on ESPNU.