LOUDONVILLE — The way it usually goes, coaches need to remind players to stay within themselves and the team concept.
Then, there is Mary Soures, a junior who stars for the Siena women’s lacrosse team . . . and “it’s almost like she needs permission to do so.”
Siena fourth-year head coach Abby Rehfuss, whose team is off to the program’s first-ever 3-0 start and first in MAAC play since 2005, laughed as she offered that description of the 20-year-old from Rochester who leads her team in scoring this season. On a Siena team, though, that doesn’t lack for talent, Soures requires the occasional reminder to, you know, look for her own shot.
“Sometimes,” Rehfuss said, “I don’t think Mary knows how good she is — but, then, I can tell her, ‘Hey, you need to go do X, Y and Z,’ and she’ll just go and execute it right away.”
Siena (3-0 MAAC, 3-0 overall) plays two games in three days at Niagara (0-1, 0-1), starting with a 7 p.m. Friday game in Lewiston. Soures heads into that two-game series off a four-goal effort against Manhattan, which followed a seven-goal game against Canisius. On the season, Soures has a team-best 12 goals, plus two assists.
Soures said she’s a “shy person” and “sometimes that shows on the field.” She laughed as she recalled how Rehfuss told her before that Manhattan game that “Mary, I give you permission to take it to the cage.”
Soures, an English education major, listened and produced her latest high-scoring effort. She said the credit for it, though, belonged to the other Saints more than herself.
“I owe that to my teammates and my coaches,” Soures said. “I’ve only been able to be successful because my teammates are giving me those lanes or feeding it to me, so I owe it all to them.”
That’s more humble than it is 100% true — but Rehfuss said she can tell when her team’s offense is operating at its best by Soures’ involvement.
“Her goals,” Rehfuss said, “are all off team offense.”
Soures led Siena in goals during last year’s abbreviated season with 17, but had no assists. Rehfuss said Soures’ top offensive skills are how she’s able to navigate opposing defenses and always be a reliable target for a teammate’s pass, but that the junior is developing other facets of her game.
“This year, her range is more versatile,” Rehfuss said. “She can feed the ball.”
The midfielder’s greatest improvement, though, has been defensively.
“She’s really worked hard to not only develop the physical skills to play defense, but she’s also done a lot of film study so she really understands what we’re trying to do,” Rehfuss said.
Soures said it was “devastating” for the Saints to lose most of their 2020 season, which was canceled after several games due to concerns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. She said the memory of that season’s cancellation has helped fuel her, and her team’s, play so far this season.
“We’re just so ecstatic to be able to play this year, and that just really helps us perform our best,” Soures said. “We just want to give it our all because you never know if your season is going to be taken away again.”