LOUDONVILLE — All Monmouth needed was a sliver.
A sliver of time, and of space.
For almost 33 minutes — the equivalent of over an entire half of lacrosse — Siena goalie Chris Yanchoris gave them neither. He gave them nothing.
But 2.7 seconds left in regulation was enough time, and a tiny window from a tight angle was enough space for Monmouth to tie the game.
Then the Hawks’ Andrew Duswalt popped in a rebound with 2:03 left in the second overtime to beat Siena 7-6 at Hickey Field on Saturday, spoiling an epic 26-save performance by Yanchoris, a junior from Sykesville, Maryland.
“That was one for the ages, for sure,” Siena head coach Liam Gleason said. “He was just very, very poised and super-impressive on the saves he was making.
“Monmouth got a lot of shots, 50 shots, and he makes 26 saves. I hope we don’t have to have him make 26 saves every game. And he made them look easy sometimes.”
“We played our butts off,” Yanchoris said. “Props to everybody on the team, props to Monmouth, they’re a great team. Just, at the end of the ballgame, it bounced their way. I had a few saves, but it went right back to them.”
It was only the third time since 2015 that a goalie had at least 26 saves in a Division I game.
On the game-winner, Yanchoris stopped a long shot by Connor Macrae, but the rebound went straight to Duswalt for the easy finish.
After falling behind 5-2 at halftime, the Saints (0-2) clawed their way back to a 5-5 tie on third-quarter goals by Colin Gleason, Seth Van Schepen and Jack Kiernan, who rocketed one past Noah Lode with 9.7 seconds left in the period.
Siena had been missing on some pass attempts inside, but Kiernan connected with Pantalone with 3:38 off the clock in the fourth for a 6-5 lead.
While Yanchoris continued to kick shots away from the Siena net, the Saints got within 2.7 seconds from a victory, but Dwayne Mattushik’s bounced one in from a difficult angle to Yanchoris’ right to send the game to overtime.
Even more excruciating for Siena, the goal came as the Saints had just killed a two-man advantage for Monmouth, and almost 33 minutes since Monmouth’s previous goal, with 3:02 left in the first half.
The Hawks (2-0), who finished with 51 shots on goal, controlled much of possession in overtime, helped by the faceoff work of Matt Soutar, who won 12 of 16 draws for the game.
Yanchoris actually had a big game even without the additional overtime saves, stopping 23 shots in regulation. On the game-winner, he had no chance once the rebound found Duswalt’s stick.
“I saw the rebound, and there was a Monmouth guy coming up the middle and it went right to him, and he placed a good shot on the goal,” Yanchoris said.
“Even the ones that did go in, including the one at the end, he’s making the save, and unfortunately, it’s a rebound out and it bounces right into a Monmouth guy’s stick,” Liam Gleason said.
“A lot of the ones that went in were broken transition plays. If he had a chance to see the ball, he was saving it. From the first whistle to the last, he was our MVP, for sure. Unfortunately, it’s in a loss, but still just a great performance.
That’s two one-goal losses in two weeks for Siena, which had good scoring chances late against Canisius last week, but couldn’t get the equalizer in an 8-7 loss.
“It hurts losing, for sure, but I think there’s a lot to take out of this,” Gleason said. “I really like how our defense continues to build on confidence. That’s two games in single digits.
“Our offense did a lot of good things. This is one of the stronger teams in our conference, defensively, and we battled.”
Monmouth 2 3 0 1 0 1 — 7
Siena 2 0 3 1 0 0 — 6
Monmouth scoring: Mattushik 2-0, Sardo 1-1, Brooks 1-0, Duswalt 1-0, Cormack 1-0, Whiteside 1-0, Macrae 0-1, Beck 0-1. Siena scoring: Kiernan 2-1, Pantalone 2-1, Gleason 1-1, Van Schepen 1-0, Lantieri 0-1. Goalies: Monmouth, Lode, 12 saves. Siena, Yanchoris, 26 saves.