LOUDONVILLE — For the first time in five straight meetings going back to 2017, Siena and Canisius did not play a game decided by one goal.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t still close — again — on Saturday.
The Golden Griffins made a short scoring burst late to get some breathing room and finished off a 12-10 victory at Hickey Field.
Siena fell to 0-3, and two of those losses have come against Canisius, which was originally scheduled to play St. Bonaventure this weekend but was re-routed to Siena when the Saints’ scheduled road opponent, Quinnipiac, bowed out due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Saints trailed 10-9 with five minutes left, but Keegan Kozack and Andrew Schermerhorn scored on back-to-back possessions, and a goal by Siena’s Dylan Pantalone with 47.5 seconds left was waved off with Siena down 12-10.
Siena has now lost two games by one goal this season, and Saturday’s game by two.
“You can show them the positives, but until you get that ‘W,’ you’ve got to make sure they realize they’re taking steps forward,” Siena head coach Liam Gleason said. “One of the messages to the team from one of my senior captains, Dylan Pantalone, was, ‘If we fall, let’s make sure we fall forward.’ And continue to keep this momentum to build and get over this hump.”
Unfortunately for the Saints, Pantalone’s goal was canceled when it was ruled that he fell forward into the goalmouth, a tighter regulation on those types of plays that was implemented by the NCAA this season.
For the second week in a row, the Saints came back from an early deficit, only to fall short.
Canisius led 4-1 early in the second quarter when Gleason was forced to call timeout due to an injury to another co-captain, Nick Pepe. During the stoppage, the officials called the Saints’ George Rusnak for an illegal pocket, and Canisius scored during the ensuing man-up.
Jack Kiernan, Brendan Lantieri and Rusnak strung together three goals to get Siena within 5-4 at halftime.
Siena tied it at 6-6 on a goal by Kiernan assisted by Pantalone, but never got the lead. Canisius had a one-goal lead eight times before that late push to go up 12-9.
“Our senior captain goes down, and you definitely feel some air come out of the sails; we’re trying to refocus the guys there [during the second-quarter timeout],” Gleason said. “Going into halftime 5-4, even being down one, was momentum.
“Every time we got a goal to answer and bring us back, they were able to answer again. That’s where we have to button down on defense and put together a couple stops to give our offense a chance to tie it up.”
Canisius 4 1 4 3 — 12
Siena 1 3 3 3 — 10
Canisius scoring: Cicci 1-0, Naylor 1-0, Parucki 1-2, Buck 3-3, Lemon 1-0, Kritkausky 1-0, Kozack 2-2, Schermerhorn 2-2. Siena scoring: Lantieri 2-1, Marcus 0-1, Tessier 1-0, Van Schepen 1-0, Gleason 0-1, Kiernan 4-0, Pantalone 0-2, Rusnak 2-1. Goalkeepers: Canisius, Bergmann, 12 saves. Siena, Yanchoris, 13 saves.