WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — The Siena men’s lacrosse team’s season began with a close loss, and it ended with one on Friday.
There were many in between.
Cade Stratton scored with 40 seconds left to give No. 2 seed Monmouth a 12-11 victory over the No. 7 Saints in the quarterfinals of the MAAC tournament.
Siena finished the season at 0-8, losing seven of those by a combined 10 goals, including a 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Hawks in double overtime on March 13, a week after Siena had opened the season with an 8-7 loss to Canisius.
On Friday, the Saints’ Christian Watts scored on an assist from Jack Kiernan with 2:18 to play to tie it at 11-11.
The Hawks won the ensuing faceoff, and peppered the Siena cage with a shot from Zach Clemente that hit the post, a shot by David Cormack stopped by goalie Chris Yanchoris and a rebound attempt by Clemente that led to a pushing penalty on Siena’s Tyler Menniti with 59.2 seconds left.
During the man-up, Connor Macrae threaded a diagonal pass through the Siena defense to Stratton alone on the right post, and he shot-faked high and bounced an easy goal past Yanchoris.
Siena got the ball on a faceoff violation and called timeout with 32.1 seconds left to design a play. With the final seconds winding down, Dylan Pantalone used a spin move to get free, but lost the ball on a check by Rudy Beck to end the game.
Kiernan finished with five goals and two assists, and Yanchoris made 22 saves, and Watts, who came into the game with just two goals on the season, scored four times.
He piled up 26 saves against Monmouth in the previous game, during which Siena almost held the Hawks scoreless in the second half, only to give up the game-tying goal with two seconds left before losing in double overtime.
On Friday, Monmouth outshot Siena 34-23 and enjoyed an 18-7 advantage in faceoffs.
Siena 2 4 1 4 — 11
Monmouth 3 2 4 3 — 12
Siena scoring: Kiernan 5-2, Pantalone 0-1, Rusnak 0-2, Lantieri 2-0, Casner 0-1, Watts 4-0. Monmouth scoring: Stratton 3-1, Brooks 3-0, Macrae 1-1, Clemente 1-0, Mattushik 1-1, Cormack 0-2, Anderson 1-0, Duswalt 1-0, McIntyre 1-0. Goalies: Siena, Yanchoris, 22 saves. Monmouth, Lode, 12 saves.