Saints Hold off Griffs in MAAC Semifinals

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. Conor Prunty scored a season-high four goals and Nate Barry and Richie Hurley each added hat tricks as top seeded Siena eliminated No. 4 seed Canisius 14-11 in the MAAC semifinals at Tenney Stadium. With the win, Siena advances to the title ame for the sixth straight season.

Siena (10-5) will face the winner of tonight's second semifinal between tournament host and second seeded Marist and defending MAAC Champion and No. 3 seed Detroit in the conference championship game Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The Saints posted 9-8 wins over both the Red Foxes and Titans during the regular season.

Prunty, who became the 24th player in program history to eclipse 100 career points, finished with a season-high five points. The MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and nation's fourth leading scorer, Hurley tallied a game-high six points. Both he and Prunty extended their point scoring streaks to 32 straight games and Prunty increased his goal scoring streak to 17 in a row.

Following a slow start, Siena opened the second quarter with five goals in seven minutes to claim a 6-3 lead against the MAAC's top scoring defense. Hurley recorded four of his points during the spurt as the Saints would not trail again and led 6-4 at the half.

Canisius (7-8) would rally as close as 8-7 late in the third quarter, but the Saints would close the period with three goals in 3:35. Prunty fired home his fourth goal of the game with just three seconds left in the quarter as Siena took an 11-7 lead to the fourth. The Golden Griffins would never get closer than two goals the rest of the way.

Tommy Cordts made 12 saves in goal for the Saints which have won seven of their last eight against Canisius. With the win, Siena achieved the program's seventh double digit win campaign in the past eight seasons after having accomplished that feat just twice in the program's first 43 years of existence.

Billy Jacobbi and Nick Tuttle both tallied hat tricks for Canisius, while Jeff Edwards, Tim Edwards and Austin Romantic each added three points apiece.

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Canisius could never overcome a five-goal second quarter run by Siena as the Saints held on to a 14-11 victory in the MAAC semifinals on Thursday afternoon. The Griffs finish their season with a 7-8 record, while Siena improves to 10-5 and advances to Saturday's championship game.

"Lacrosse is a simple game and it comes down to inches and bounces a lot of times," said Canisius head coach Randy Mearns. "Siena got a few more bounces today and deservedly so. We lost some 50-50 ground-ball battles that we really needed to win. It's heartbreaking as we worked hard for this moment but just came up short. It's tough for the team and tough for coaches. It's tough to put all your energy into something and it doesn't end up where you want it."

Sophomores Billy Jacobbi (Williamsville, N.Y.) and Nick Tuttle (Castle Rock, Colo.) led the Canisius attack with three goals each. Juniors Austin Romantic (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Tim Edwards (Jamesville, N.Y.) and freshman Jeff Edwards (Jamesville, N.Y.) also chipped in three points with Romantic scoring two goals to go along with one assist, while the Edwards brothers both recorded one goal and two assists. Senior long-stick midfielder Kevin Collins (Orchard Park, N.Y.) rounded out the scoring for Canisius with one tally.

Junior Alex Govenettio (Derby, N.Y.) recorded 10 saves to take the loss in net. Tim Edwards also led the Griffs with two caused turnovers on the day.

Canisius started the contest strong and raced to a 3-1 lead after 15 minutes of play. Tuttle and Tim Edwards connected on a give-and-go with Tuttle finishing just 99 seconds into the game for the 1-0 lead. Jeff Edwards then found Jacobbi for his first of the afternoon as Canisius led, 2-0, less than five minutes in. Siena answered with a man-up goal in the only extra-man chance of the day but Tim Edwards found Romantic open in front and the junior scored on a turn-around for the 3-1 advantage after one quarter.

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