At the end of every practice, Siena women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Rehfuss puts her players through a “one-minute drill,” designed to prepare the Saints to mount a late comeback.
Wednesday at Marist?
“We found ourselves in it,” Rehfuss said.
“We knew what to do,” the coach said in a phone interview with The Daily Gazette after her team’s incredible comeback victory, a 17-16 overtime win.
The Saints scored three goals in less than a minute to force overtime, then received a goal from Kerry Gerety in the final minute of overtime to secure the victory in their regular-season finale. Nicole McNeely assisted on the game-winning goal as part of a 10-point effort that included seven goals and three assists.
With the win, Siena heads into the MAAC tournament as the No. 2 seed, and will host Canisius in a quarterfinal matchup Saturday at Hickey Field. Fairfield is the tournament’s top seed.
Siena (9-2 MAAC, 9-2 overall) will head into its playoff game on a six-game winning streak after Wednesday’s fantastic finish in Poughkeepsie against Marist (2-4, 2-4). The Red Foxes moved ahead 16-13 with more than four minutes to play, and had that lead and possession with less than two minutes to play.
“But they weren’t rattled,” Rehfuss said of her group. “They were still confident.”
Siena gained possession with 92 seconds left in the second half, and registered a goal with 1:01 to go on a shot from McNeely. Siena won the ensuing draw control, then scored after a timeout on a free-position attempt from Annie Brennan with 30 seconds left in regulation.
From there, Taryn Asselin secured the draw control, and Siena called another timeout with 25 seconds left. After the timeout, Siena worked the ball to McNeely, who scored the overtime-forcing goal with less than 10 seconds left in the second half.
“Once a player gets a hot stick, you keep going to her,” Rehfuss said. “In the most-necessary moments, she was huge for us.”
And Siena needed extra scoring production Wednesday, as the Saints played without Kaitlyn Dowsett, who leads them in scoring with 47 points. Rehfuss said Dowsett “could’ve played” Wednesday, but sat out the game with a minor injury.
“She’ll be back Saturday,” Rehfuss said.
Marist led 8-7 at halftime. Siena scored the second half’s first three goals, but Marist answered with a 4-0 run and maintained a lead until McNeely tied it at 16-16.
Kelly George had six goals and an assist for Marist.
Halftime score: Marist led 8-7. Siena scoring: McNeely 7-3, Brennan 3-1, Soures 2-1, Gerety 2-0, Asselin 1-1, Pelcher 1-0, Nieman 1-0. Marist scoring: George 6-1, Mehalick 2-3, Connolly 4-0, Di Chiara 0-2, Gutenberger 2-0, Stockman 1-0, Schrader 1-0. Goalies: Siena, Mervine, 9 saves. Marist, Galvin, 12 saves.