LOUDONVILLE — As she saw it, redshirt junior Kelsey Lane’s Siena women’s lacrosse teammates did the hard work on the plays that led to her career-best scoring effort.
“My teammates, they were able to just get me the ball, and I had the easy job — to just put it away,” Lane said after the Saints’ dominant 21-11 win Saturday against Canisius in the MAAC quarterfinals. “They did the hard work for me.”
And Lane, well, she certainly knows something about hard work.
A redshirt junior from Miller Place on Long Island, Lane only had scored two career goals — both this season — at Siena prior to Saturday’s contest that saw her score three goals, all within the game’s first dozen minutes. Lane never played during her first two seasons at Siena because of a major knee injury she suffered in the preseason of her freshman year, and her comeback campaign in 2020 was halted after several games when concerns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic ended the season.
“Kelsey blew her knee out and has had quite a road to getting back to the playing field,” said Siena head coach Abby Rehfuss, whose team set a MAAC tournament single-game record Saturday with its 21 goals. “I think she slowly, but steadily, this year worked herself back into the lineup and built her confidence back up, and I think you’re seeing that culminate today with three huge goals when we needed them, so really, really happy for her.”
Late in the preseason of her freshman year in 2018, Lane, as she put it, “kind of did a lot to one knee.”
And, by “did a lot,” Lane means she tore her “ACL, MCL, LCL, both [menisci],” and, for good measure, “sprained my PCL.”
After what amounted to a “full reconstruction” of her right knee through surgery, and too many sessions of physical therapy and training work to count, Lane was able to get back on the field for the abbreviated 2020 season.
“Maybe it took a little while,” Lane said, “but worth it, in my opinion.”
Lane scored her college career’s first goal in a mid-April game this year at Iona, then scored another goal a week later against Marist.
Then, Saturday at Hickey Field, Lane started the scoring in Siena’s best half of the season. After Canisius (No. 7 seed, 2-8 overall) scored an early goal and Siena (No. 2, 10-2) suffered through a somewhat-sluggish opening several minutes, Lane registered the Saints’ first goal in a 4-0 run. After Canisius snapped that streak, Lane offered Siena’s next two goals.
Lane’s three goals came on three shots — and that continued a streak for Lane. A reserve that plays on one of two teams in the country with five active 100-point career scorers, Lane’s five goals this season have come on five total shots.
“She’s so talented,” Siena senior Nicole McNeely said of Lane, whose goals Saturday were all assisted. “We’re just really happy for her.”
And, overall, Siena was plenty happy with its first half. Siena scored a remarkable 16 goals in the opening 30 minutes, as Lane plus three more Saints scored at least three goals in the opening half that ended with the home team up 10.
Siena built its lead to a dozen in the second half before Canisius put together a 5-0 run — and that’s when another Saint outside of the team’s regular cast of stars stepped up. With Canisius threatening to make things interesting with 15-plus minutes to go, sophomore Sabrina Krasner replaced Ally Mervine in goal, and Krasner made four saves without allowing a goal as Siena put together a 3-0 spurt to close the contest.
“No pressure,” Krasner, who had played less than 15 minutes during the regular season, said of entering the playoff game. “My teammates were there for me, supporting me, and that’s who we are. We’re just there for one another, knowing we all have the ability to do it. That’s what the coaching staff instills in us, and we just believe in each other, and we go in with our heads high and do our job.”
Redshirt junior Kaitlyn Dowsett had three goals and four assists for Siena, while McNeely had a game-high five goals plus an assist. Senior Kerry Gerety added three goals and three assists, while fifth-year senior Annie Brennan joined Lane in scoring three goals for the Saints.
Siena will host third-seeded Monmouth in next Thursday’s semifinals. After her team’s seventh consecutive win, Lane said Saturday’s team success meant more to her than the goals she scored.
“It’s just a really great moment for us and our team,” Lane said, “and there’s more for us to do, and I’m excited to help with that.”
Halftime score: Siena led 16-6. Canisius scoring: Ma. Malvaso 3-0, Smolensky 3-0, McArthur 2-0, Mi. Malvaso 2-0, Davis 1-0. Siena scoring: Dowsett 3-4, Gerety 3-3, McNeely 5-1, Lane 3-0, Bonomo 2-1, Soures 1-2, Brennan 3-0, Gilhooley 1-0. Goalies: Canisius, Maroney, 8 saves; Gilbert, 1 save. Siena, Mervine, 7 saves; Krasner, 4 saves.