LOUDONVILLE — At this point, the two losses the Siena women’s lacrosse team suffered a few weekends ago at Niagara provide more motivation for the Saints heading into Saturday’s game than the painful defeat they suffered a couple years ago against their next opponent.
That’s Fairfield, which defeated Siena in the 2019 MAAC championship game, a 10-9 decision that went the Stags’ way in overtime and stands as the last time the two teams played after the majority of the 2020 season was canceled because of concerns related to the pandemic. The reminder of that defeat is still a painful one for the players left over from that team, but Siena redshirt junior Kaitlyn Dowsett said the Saints’ winless trip to Niagara three weekends ago offers a more immediate source of fuel for the team.
“I think the biggest thing we took away [from that trip] was that we all hate the feeling of losing more than we love the feeling of winning,” Dowsett said earlier this week.
Siena had a weekend off after its 4-0 start was followed by back-to-back losses at Niagara. The Saints rebounded in their April 2 return to the field with a 19-17 win against Quinnipiac, a game that saw the 21-year-old Dowsett star with seven goals and an assist on her way to winning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week.
The seven goals and eight points both set new single-game bests at Siena for Dowsett, who will graduate from Siena after the lacrosse season with a degree in psychology. While she has two seasons left of playing eligibility, Dowsett — who grew up in Manorville on Long Island, but now lives in Clifton Park — plans to forego those years and start her graduate-school work in childhood and special education at Russell Sage, where she doesn’t plan to play lacrosse.
On this year’s Siena team, the 5-foot-7 Dowsett leads the Saints in goals with 20 and assists with seven. She has scored at least four points in four of the Saints’ games.
While Siena needed a win to get back on track ahead of Saturday’s 1 p.m. road game, Fairfield is a perfect 6-0 on the season. Fairfield, though, has been challenged in every game; the club’s six wins are by an average of 2.8 goals per game.
Dowsett said that for the Saints remaining from the program’s 2019 team, that year’s championship game is one “we’ll never forget; it’s always going to be with us.” But Siena’s focus this weekend, Dowsett said, is on making sure the Saints continue on the right track with their regular season only including four more games after this weekend.
“So moving forward,” Dowsett said, “we’re just focusing on winning on Saturday.”