LOUDONVILLE — In its season-opening game, “so much excitement” and “a lot of nervous energy” got in the way of the Siena women’s lacrosse team ever firing on all cylinders.
But the Saints managed an overtime win — then, the next day, they dominated their rematch with Canisius, and Siena head coach Abby Rehfuss said the assertiveness and confidence the Saints played with that day needs to become common for her club as it continues in MAAC play.
“Every time we touch the field, we really don’t have any leeway to be losing games that we should be winning,” said Rehfuss, whose team next plays noon Sunday at Manhattan.
In that second game, Siena showed why it’s supposed to be one of the top teams in the MAAC this season, as several of its assortment of stars had strong games on the same day. Senior Kerry Gerety had a goal and assist, and won a dozen draw controls in a game that saw her become all-time leader in career draw controls at Siena; junior Mary Soures registered seven goals; fifth-year senior Annie Brennan, after scoring Saturday’s game-winning goal, added three goals; redshirt junior Kaitlyn Dowsett totaled three goals and three assists; and, the defense, led by senior goalie Ally Mervine with eight saves, starred for a second consecutive day.
“She played out of her mind,” Rehfuss said of Mervine’s opening weekend, which saw the senior make 20 total saves and allow 13 goals.
Soures was Siena’s fifth-leading scorer during her freshman season, then was the Saints’ fourth-leading scorer during last year’s abbreviated campaign. Through two games, on the strength of her seven-goal game, Soures leads the Saints in scoring this year.
“Mary is one of the most underrated players on our roster, which I don’t really mind because other teams put their attention elsewhere and it allows her to shine,” Rehfuss said.
Siena (2-0 MAAC, 2-0 overall) hasn’t played Manhattan (0-1, 0-1) since the 2019 season, and the Jaspers were one of only two MAAC teams to defeat the Saints that season. Siena lost that game 8-6 to Manhattan, a contest that was “super frustrating” for the Saints because of the way Manhattan’s defense bottled up their attack.
Siena’s game in Riverdale is the first of three consecutive road games for the program, and Rehfuss said it’s critical the Saints get that stretch started off with a strong effort.
“So our biggest focus this [last] week has just been on the offensive side of the ball for us, on creating opportunities,” Rehfuss said.