Canisius Edges Siena in MAAC Semifinals

New Rochelle, N.Y. Canisius advances to the 2011 MAAC Championship game after earning an 11-9 victory against Siena on Friday afternoon. The win is the Griffs' 13th of the season, establishing a new school record as the team improves to 13-5 during the 2011 campaign. Canisius will now face the winner of Fairfield and Iona on Sunday at noon.

Senior Taylor Gray (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) led the Griffs with six points on two goals and four assists in the victory. Junior Theresa Walton (Syracuse, N.Y.) matched a career high with three tallies, while senior Brianne Laffey (Pittsburgh, Pa.), junior Megan Oosting (Lakefield, Ontario) and freshman Maria Kotas (Lancaster, N.Y.) all added two points on a goal and an assist. Senior Carly Quinn (Orangeville, Ontario), junior Rachel Brand (Syracuse, N.Y.) and sophomore Kate Gosson (Syracuse, N.Y.) rounded out the scoring for Canisius with a goal each.

Senior Allison Daley (Peterborough, Ontario) anchored the Golden Griffin defense with nine saves in goal to earn the victory.

"Today was a very gritty effort," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "We battled through adversity and it was a great team win. Theresa Walton played an outstanding game and we look forward to Sunday to reaching our goal of a MAAC Championship."

Canisius started the contest slowly, finding itself in an early 4-1 hole. Walton scored the first goal of the game from the free position 89 seconds in but the Saints answered back with four-straight tallies in less than two minutes for the three-score advantage. After its initial goal, the Griffs only netted one score in the next 20 minutes of action as Siena held the lead.

The Griffs rallied back behind the strength of its defense. Canisius held the Saints scoreless for the final 24-plus minutes of the first half with Daley stopping all five shots on goal and the Griffs finally found their offensive rhythm to reclaim their advantage. Gray sparked the rally, registering assists on goals by Kotas and Brand before netting one of her own to knot the game at four. Walton then took advantage of her second free-position opportunity of the afternoon, scoring with 19 ticks left in the half to send the teams into the intermission with Canisius leading, 5-4.

The Saints (8-8) ended their drought early in the second half, scoring three goals in the first six minutes to grab a 7-5 advantage. However, Canisius once again answered Siena's run with one of its own. Gosson ignited the rally with her first goal of the game, connecting with 19:59 left in regulation. Gray then scored her second of the day just 44 seconds later to tie the game at seven. Walton once again gave the Griffs the lead, completing her hat trick with 15:50 left and was followed by Quinn for the 9-7 lead.

Siena twice pulled to within one but each time, Canisius answered back for a two-goal advantage and some breathing room. Laffey and Oosting both netted the replying scores for the 11-9 final.

Canisius held a slight edge in shots on the afternoon, 27-25. Deirdre McQuillan led the Saints with five points, three goals and two assists, while Kristin Concordia stopped nine shots in goal.

The Griffs now advance to the MAAC Championship for the second time in the program's history. In its first trip in 2006, Canisius lost to LeMoyne, 15-10.

Game Notes: The previous school record for victories in a season was 12, set during the 2006 season ... Gray, who has recorded 63 points as a senior (43g, 20a) is now two points shy of the program's single season record of 65, set by Whitney Card in 2006 ... Canisius has won its last 21 games when scoring 10 goals ... The Griffs have now won its last five games against Siena and owns an 8-6 edge in the all-time series.

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2011-04-29



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