LOUDONVILLE — It’s easy to stay positive during a winning streak.
Less so when results aren’t going your way.
That’s why, while Liam Gleason has been disappointed with the outcomes from the Siena College men’s lacrosse team’s last two games, they haven’t left him discouraged regarding his program’s trajectory.
“Our guys have stayed positive,” said Gleason, Siena’s first-year head coach. “They still believe in each other and our message right now is about how the culture we’re creating with staying positive and believing in each other, that doesn’t win you the games, but it gives you the best opportunity to win the games.”
Siena has lost two consecutive games ahead of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. game at Princeton, and those back-to-back defeats for the Saints came after they won four in a row. Siena stands at 5-4 on the season after winning three games apiece in each of the last three seasons.
“Those two games don’t define us,” Siena junior Dylan Pantalone, a Niskayuna High School graduate, said Monday of the Saints’ 13-10 loss to Quinnipiac and their 13-11 defeat at Marist. “We still played well, just not well enough.”
Siena has a pair of non-conference games ahead of it before it ends its regular season with MAAC games against Detroit Mercy and Monmouth. After its back-to-back losses, Siena is 3-2 in MAAC play and in fifth place in the conference, one spot removed from qualifying for the league’s postseason tournament.
“So we’ve definitely got to reverse things quick,” Siena senior Keenan Cook said. “We have to look at it like our playoffs start right now.”
Princeton — 4-6 on the season, 0-3 in the Ivy League — should present a formidable foe for the Saints. Princeton is coming off a 14-4 win against Stony Brook, and the Tigers’ lineup includes one of the nation’s best attackman in junior Michael Sowers who has 18 goals and 36 assists on the season.
“He can break down pretty much any defenseman in the country,” Gleason said. “He’s dodging to score and feed, and he’s got some really good guys to throw the ball to. I think, for us, doing our best to contain him and not give him easy looks in front of the cage, that’s where we can have some success on defense. I don’t think you’re going to contain him completely — he’s going to get his points — but if we can make them tougher points for him to get . . . that’s where we can have some success.”
Offensively, Siena has not struggled this season to score. The Saints rank No. 8 in the country in scoring per game at 13.6, haven’t scored fewer than nine goals in any game this season — and, most importantly, remain confident in what they’re doing.
“We’re going to focus on having fun,” Cook said, “and executing our game plan.”
Both those things, Gleason said, are what the Saints need to do to if they are going to avoid a three-game losing streak.
“If we keep that right mindset,” Gleason said, “we’ll give ourselves that opportunity.”