LOUDONVILLE, NY - Siena Water Polo split on the second day of the MAAC opening weekend for a 2-2 league record, their best start to conference play since 2011-12. The Saints fell 22-6 to #23 Marist and defeated St. Francis 14-13.
Game One: Marist 22, Siena 6
Although Siena won the opening sprint, Marist controlled the game right away and scored the first five goals, holding Siena to no goals in the first quarter.
The Red Foxes added two more goals in the opening minutes of the second quarter to lead 7-0 before Clare Bryar put one on goal off a power play. Marist continued to hold onto their lead and jumped ahead 10-1. Head Coach Tamara Perea called a timeout with 1:14 on the clock and following that timeout Diana Fernandez found the back of the net to give Siena their second goal of the game. With three seconds on the clock, Danielle Fuertes tallied her only goal of the game to put the Saints down 11-3 at the half.
Siena and Marist recorded opening possession goals for a 12-4 Marist lead. The Red Foxes tacked on four goals before Kristen Burger drew an exclusion and set Siena up for a power play which led to a Sara Lopez goal. Marist led 16-5 after three quarters played.
Bryar would score the only Siena goal of the fourth quarter to finish the game with two goals, one assist and two ejections drawn. Marist would add on six goals in the quarter to take the 22-6 win over the Saints.
Game Two: Siena 14, St. Francis 13
In her first goal of the game, Clare Bryar, who was honored before the contest, notched her 200th career goal to be just the third player in Siena history to eclipse 200 goals. She would finish the game with four goals, four assists, three ejections drawn and one steal in her senior day game.
Fernandez also tallied eight points on the game with three goals and five assists. She would also swipe the ball four times and draw three ejections.
Fiona Dretzka came up big for the Saints in net making 11 stops to secure the Saints victory.
Kristen Burger put Siena on the board in the opening frame but St. Francis would respond and set the tone for the game where the two teams would exchange goals back and forth. St. Francis took their first lead of the game off a power play to lead 3-2, but Daniella Fuertes responded right back on the other end to leave the score tied 3-3 after one.
Siena would continue to be just one goal ahead of the Terriers before they would continue to tie it up until an exclusion on Nichol Feldtz put St. Francis in a strong position once it was back to even strength for a 6-5 St. Francis lead. Siena responded with two goals to regain the lead with 17 seconds left. With two seconds remaining, Claire Mueller scored to tie it up 7-7.
Just like the opening half, the third quarter was no different as the two teams battled for an advantage. Siena went down 9-7 but registered back-to-back goals to take a 10-9 lead. Siena led 11-10 following a goal by Bryar which the Saints would hold into the fourth quarter. Mueller for St. Francis scored following a Siena turnover to tie it all up again at 11. On back-to-back possessions, the two teams each tallied a goal to tie it at 12. Bryar notched a penalty shot to put the Saints up 13-12 and Fernandez followed that up with a goal of her own to lead 14-12. St. Francis added one more goal and got off shots in the waning minutes but none would enter the cage to give Siena their second league win of the season 14-13.
Siena will travel to Oneonta, New York for the Hartwick Invite where the Saints will take on Mercyhurst (10:30 AM), Saint Francis (PA) (3 PM) and Dollard des Ormeaux (7:30 PM).