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Marist sinks Siena in a comeback win

By Michael K. Conway

The Marist men’s lacrosse team has officially punched its ticket to the conference tournament, knocking out the Siena Saints in a 6-5 victory.  The Red Foxes will take on the #2 Canisius Golden Griffs, the team that handed them their first of two MAAC losses in a tough early season matchup.

The whole team got in on this one as six different Red Foxes found the back of the net to fuel a fourth quarter comeback. While junior Kyle Quinn put up their first goal of the game during the second quarter, Marist would not score again until the fourth quarter, recording three goals within the final minute of play. “Down the stretch and under five minutes you could tell that Siena was trying to kill some clock and we just stuck to our game plan got the ball back for our offense,” said Marist’s redshirt junior goalie Brian Corrigan.  With only seconds left in the game, freshman midfielder Michael Smith scored Marist’s sixth goal of the game, fifth of the quarter, and third in that minute to shut the door on Siena, eliminating them from playoff contention.

With so many goals in such a small amount of time, the backbone of Marist’s gritty offense was the faceoff ability of junior transfer Matt Galioto. Galioto took all of Marist’s faceoffs last weekend and took advantage of the opportunities, winning eight of the fourteen faceoffs. “It was unreal how the guys were finishing those goals,” said Galioto.  “It was a real quick turnover and it just shows how important the faceoffs are.”  His ability to continually win faceoffs and dish the ball out to the offense on four of his six opportunities was instrumental in their last minute comeback.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” said Marist head coach Keegan Wilkinson.   “It was one of those games where they stick to the course and they keep fighting… The guys made a ton of stops on defense…just super proud of them, especially in a game where we had already clinched a spot.  There was nothing on the line for us, and everything in the world on the line for Siena, so to put them down and knock them out of the playoffs felt really good.”

Now, the Red Foxes must shift their focus towards the Golden Griffs, a team they have matched up against earlier in the year.  Marist really has to change up its game plan in order to sustain a run in the tournament. Their last meeting ended with a 16-6 loss to the Golden Griffs.  According to Corrigan, the team must prevent Canisius from getting too many man-up opportunities in order to stop them when it matters most…during MAAC tournament play.  The Red Foxes must also prevent quick transition goals.

“For this first game with Canisius we are coming off a big 17-6 loss early in the year but when we break down the film this whole week we realized that a lot of those goals were not six-on-six goals and came from a lot of man-up opportunities and transition goals,” said Corrigan.

Coach Wilkinson believes that forcing the Griffs to meet Marist six on six will give Marist the advantage on the field as the better team.  “Canisius played great in that first game and they’ve got a lot of really good seniors, especially in the midfield, so it is no surprise that some of those guys who are super athletes did a great job in transition” said Wilkinson.  “That has been a huge point of emphasis this week, slowing them down on the lines and getting them to play six-on-six, because when we can do that, we are in really good shape no matter who it is.  So we’ve got to slow teams down and make them play against our settled defense, and that is going to be huge on Friday night.”

Catch Marist in MAAC tournament action this weekend May 5-7 at Tenney stadium.

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