Marist men’s lacrosse (5-7, 4-3 MAAC) put on their best all-around performance on national television against the Siena Saints (5-6, 3-4 MAAC) Wednesday afternoon, defeating them by a score of 14-11.
Marist needed this win to stay in the mix for a playoff appearance. With the win, the Red Foxes handed Siena their first home loss of the season. Marist also has not lost to Siena in eight straight games.
The biggest storyline of the game was the placement of both teams in the MAAC standings. Siena and Marist were both ranked fifth and sixth in the conference before the game, respectively. In the new look MAAC, the top six teams qualify for the MAAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship tournament, so every game is all the more important at this point of the season.
The goalie matchup in this game was a good one too, as graduate student Chris Yanchoris finished with 13 saves for the Saints, while senior goalie Daniel O’Meara of Marist finished with 15 saves in his second career start. O’Meara really settled in along with the defense, which was a big part of Marist’s victory today.
Starting off the game, each team sought a hot start, and Siena got it when junior midfielder Jack Erb scored early to make it 1-0. On the ensuing possession, graduate student midfielder James Lyons placed a perfect shot for Marist to tie the game at 1. The game was a back-and-forth affair all day, and graduate student attackman Zach Shutte and sophomore attackman Ryan McCarthy continued the proceedings, putting Siena up 3-1.
That two-goal lead would not last long as graduate student attackman JoJo Pirreca found junior midfielder Joshua Balcarcel for a beautiful goal to draw Marist within one. Not long after, graduate student attackman Jamison Embury bullied his way right in front of the cage for the game-tying goal, 3-3.
Siena regained the lead with another score, but in response, Marist reeled off score four straight goals to take a 7-4 lead. Freshman midfielder Peter Murray scored his first and second collegiate goals during the onslaught and Pirreca also found the net twice, once on a scoop-and-score and then again with a goal off a man up.
Siena would have McCarthy and Shutte to stop the bleeding for Siena, ending the first half down 7-6.
The Saints emerged from the locker room and tied things up in the third quarter with a goal from McCarthy to make it 7-7. Not long after, sophomore faceoff Dylan Bedell, Jamison Embury and Pirreca would bury three straight goals, putting Marist back up 10-7.
Pirreca’s goal came off a one-handed interception pass from a Siena ride, firing up the Marist bench. Siena stopped the bleeding off goals from the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year sophomore attackman Pratt Reynoldsand and fifth-year attackman George Rusak. With Marist leading 10-9 heading into the fourth quarter, it was going to be one of the biggest quarters of the season for both teams.
Marist started the fourth quarter scoring with three straight goals from sophomore attackman Jake Deacy in the same spot twice off of beautiful assists from senior short stick defensive midfielder Keenan DeRaeve and sophomore defender Aidan McCaffrey; these scores put Marist up 13-9.
Siena needed an answer to stay in this game and got one when Rusak cut the lead to three goals. Marist did not let Siena gain any traction as Balcarcel again snuck one past the Siena goaltender, restoring the Marist lead to four. Siena cashed in on the player advantage as freshman midfielder Travis Fry cut the lead back down to three, but that would be all for Siena, as the score of 14-11 ultimately stood up as the final.
The faceoff matchup was tight all game as sophomore Dylan Bedell, who has split time all year, combined to win 15 out of 29 for Marist. Siena has had a bunch of different players at the faceoff X this season, but senior Dylan Pope got the lion’s share of time there today, and he went 14 out of 29 on the day.
Marist has a quick turnaround as they travel to Long Island to face Long Island University on Saturday, April 15th at 1 p.m.
Edited by Luke Sassa
Photo Credit: Marist Athletics