Posted at: 04/26/2014 11:12 PM
By: Siena Athletics & WNYT Sports
Siena Lacrosse scored seven unanswered goals and then held on late to beat Manhattan 8-7 in the regular season finale in Riverdale, N.Y. With the victory, the Saints achieved the program’s fourth undefeated MAAC Regular Season in the past six years.
Top seed Siena (9-5, 6-0), which last weekend secured the program’s sixth MAAC Regular Season Championship in the past eight years, will face No. 4 seed Canisius in the conference semifinals Thursday at 4 p.m. in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Richie Hurley and Conor Prunty each tallied hat tricks for the Saints with Hurley scoring a game-high five points as Siena posted its ninth straight win over Manhattan (5-10, 3-3). Prunty netted all three of his goals in the first half as Siena scored the final three goals of the half to take a 4-3 lead at the break.
Hurley factored in the scoring on all four of the Saints’ second half scores with his third goal of the half giving Siena a commanding 8-3 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
But Manhattan, which was playing with its season on the line, made a furious comeback bid in an attempt to keep its MAAC Tournament hopes alive. The Jaspers would score four times in seven and a half minutes to rally within a goal with 4:35 to play.
Manhattan’s last chance would come from Marcel Godino with 13 seconds remaining, but Tommy Cordts stoned him to preserve the win. Cordts made 10 saves on the night and added five groundballs as the Saints improved to 4-2 in one-goal games.
Andrew Hurst scored all of his team-high three points for the Jaspers during their late four-goal surge. Rich Akapnitis made 12 saves for Manhattan which finished in a five-way tie for second place, but along with Quinnipiac was eliminated from MAAC Tournament contention with the final tiebreaker coming down to goal differential.
Now the Saints begin their quest for the program’s third MAAC Championship on Thursday. Siena defeated Canisius 10-7 in the regular season meeting between the programs Mar. 29 in Loudonville. No. 2 seed and tournament host Marist plays defending MAAC Champion and third seeded Detroit in Thursday’s second semifinal at 7 p.m., with the conference title game slated for Saturday at 11 a.m. on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.