FRIDAY, MAY 06, 2011
Men’s lacrosse falls to Siena in MAAC Tournament semifinals
The JU men’s lacrosse team built a three-goal lead in the opening quarter but couldn’t match Siena’s firepower as the top-seeded Saints defeated the fourth-seeded Dolphins, 18-8, in the semifinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Friday night.

TJ Kenary scored twice and an assist to lead the JU attack with the Dolphins competing in its first conference tournament game in history. The Dolphins concluded its season 5-10.

Siena’s Colin Clive and Danny Martinsen scored five goals and Bryan Neufeld contributed a hat trick and four assists to lift the Saints (12-4) into Sunday’s championship game against the winner of the Detroit vs. Marist semifinal.

JU was out-scored, 13-3, after the first quarter at Demske Sports Complex on Canisius’ campus. The Dolphins fell to Siena for the second time this season after also dropping a 14-13 decision at home to the MAAC’s regular season champions on April 9.

“We started out strong but got away from executing our game plan,” JU coach Matt Kerwick said. “Siena deserves credit for playing well. They did a lot of things right out there. It’s disappointing how this season finished for us, but I like our team and we hope to take this as a learning experience heading into next season."

Six different Saints scored goals to help Siena close the game on a 16-3 run. Neufeld, who won the MAAC’s “Offensive Player of the Year,” showed his award-winning form, finishing with a game-high seven points, including three assists and a goal in the first half.

Freshman goalie Peter DeLuca posted 11 saves and allowed 17 goals for the Dolphins while counterpart Tom Morr made 10 saves for Siena.

Kenary finished the season as JU’s leading scorer, registering 21 goals. Senior Bobby Stockton also scored, bringing his season total to 20.

Siena extended a two-goal halftime lead into a comfortable lead, surging to an 11-6 lead with three goals in the opening 2:48 of the second half. Neufeld, dodged a defender and fired a high-right shot past JU goalie Peter DeLuca for Siena’s 11th goal as the Saints extended its run to 9-1.

Donovan Lange netted JU’s first man-down goal of the season to make it 11-7, though the momentum was short-lived when Clive registered his 18th goal of the season at 7:48 of the third quarter.

Sophomore midfielder Cameron Mann finally found the scoresheet, scoring from his knees at the low left post with 3:38 left in the third. Mann, who finished with a Dolphins-best 37 points, would not log another point in the game. Siena snuffed out any comeback hopes, increasing its edge to 14-8 with 39 seconds left on Neufeld’s close-range push shot near the right post.

Before Siena’s strong run in the final 30 minutes, JU generated offense from unexpected sources to keep within 8-6 at halftime. The Dolphins also scored three goals in 25 seconds to set a season-record, part of a 4-0 run that gave JU a 5-2 lead before Siena closed the half with six of the last seven goals.

Defenseman Stephen Spindler scored just the second goal of his career and the first of the season and Will Tanner recorded first goal in more than three months.

Spindler’s main job is shutting down opposing scoring threats, the but the long-stickman took DeLuca’s arching outlet pass, moved into the attacking end and fired a deep right-wing shot past Morr at 6:42 in the first quarter. Just 19 seconds later, Tanner then buried Kenary’s right-post pass for his first goal since Feb. 23 against Mercer.

Kenary then scored immediately off the faceoff, adding his 21st goal six seconds later. But Siena scored the next five goals as the Saints saw goals from six different players.

The scoring barrage from both teams resulted in a freewheeling first quarter that ended 5-5 and featured 24 total shots.