Siena Water Polo dropped both games to bein their time at the Laker Invite on Saturday. First, the Saints fell to host Mercyhurst 12-9 and followed that up with a 14-10 loss to Saint Francis (PA).
“Today was a lesson in perseverance,” said head coach Tamara Perea. “We are suffering from a case of adverse circumstances and injury. The day started hard fought with our game against Mercyhurst. We played tight with them all game but their bench proved to make the difference. Kristen Burger played lights out in goal for us. She blocked a momentum-shifting penalty to keep us in the game.”
Game One: Mercyhurst 12, Siena 9
Siena played hard in the opening game at the Laker Invite against Mercyhurst but could not catch the Lakers as they took the game 12-9. Diana Fernandez led the Saints with five goals, one steal, and two ejections drawn, while reigning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week tallied two goals.
Mercyhurst started the game off with two goals, but with 13 seconds left in the first period, Fernandez tallied her first goal on a 5-meter for put the Saints down just 2-1. The Lakers jumped head after scoring three unanswered goals to end the second period and lead 5-2 at the half.
Siena brought it back within one, 6-5 in the third period but Mercyhurst scored the final two goals of the game to lead 8-5. Both teams scored four goals in the final quarter to give Mercyhurst the win 12-9.
“The rematch against SFU was not what we wanted,” stated Perea. “Both of us were playing without a goalie, but they used this to their advantage and took as many shooting opportunities as they could against us and it made all the difference. However, I’m extremely proud of how my athletes went for it in the fourth quarter. Sophia racked up five steals in a matter of minutes. It became a very different game instantaneously once that happened. Today was rough, to say the least. But we are walking away from this much stronger and wiser.”
Game Two: Saint Francis (PA) 14, Siena 10
Saint Francis (PA) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first period, holding the Saints to no goals despite a solid effort by the team. Bryar, who led the Saints with five goals, picked up her first with an assist from Fernandez. The Red Flash would outscore Siena 6-3 in the second period and lead 11-3 at halftime.
It was a slow quarter for the Saints as they didn’t score their two goals until the waning seconds, but Siena still trailed 14-5 with just one period to play. Siena continued to march on despite a nine-point deficit as they looked to take down the Red Flash. The Saints would score five straight in the final period, holding Saint Francis (PA) scoreless. Sophia Torres scored two of her three goals in that time, with Bryar’s fifth and final goal to end the game. Siena fought hard but would not be able to comeback falling 14-10 against the Red Flash.
Fernandez and Daniella Fuertes each tallied a goal apiece, while Torres recorded five saves. Burger picked up three saves in her second game played as a goalie.
Siena ends their time at the Laker Invite when they play Gannon on Sunday, February 18 at 11:45 a.m. The Saints defeated Gannon 11-9 last weekend at their opening tournament.