RIVERDALE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Siena men’s lacrosse season came to an end after a hard-fought postseason run concluded in Saturday’s MAAC Championship Game at Manhattan College’s Gaelic Park against third-seeded Marist with a 12-7 defeat in the team’s first appearance in the MAAC title game since 2014.

The fourth-seeded Saints (9-7) finished with their most wins since the 2014 season when it won 11 games and won the MAAC title. 

It was a three-win improvement from last season and a major turnaround under fifth-year head coach Liam Gleason, whose team finished 0-8 just two seasons ago and was projected to finish in third in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll at the start of this season. 

Siena found their stride at the right time, winning four straight games down the stretch including three wins against what was either the top-ranked team at the time or the top-seeded team in the MAAC Standings. 

On Saturday, it looked like the storybook season may continue. 

Siena took a 3-2 lead early in the second quarter courtesy of goals from Zac Schuette, Travis Fry and Christian Watts, causing the Saints’ bench players to all get on the ground and mimic shooting a rifle to reflect the trigger-fast release of Watts’ shot. 

Watts, selected in September’s National League Lacrosse Entry Draft as a fifth-round selection to the Buffalo Bandits, finished with one goal and one assist on the day and finished his Siena career with 98 points.

From that point forward, Marist was able to find their shooting form and its own resiliency, scoring five consecutive goals to take a 7-3 advantage heading into the break on a strength of some effective transition from defense to offense while showcasing quick passing and an aggressive defense. 

Schuette scored his second goal of the day with 9:40 left in the third quarter and Fry notched his second of the day to cut the deficit to 7-5 with 6:08 remaining in the third to tighten it back up. 

Schuette finished with a team-high four points (two goals and two assists) and was named to the All-Tournament for his overall performance over the course of the three postseason games. The Springfield transfer totaled four goals and four assists in the MAAC postseason. 

From there, Marist (10-7) pulled away with another outburst of five straight goals to take a 12-5 lead with 4:47 left in the game when Jamison Embury found the back of the net. 

Neither team held a significant shots advantage as the Saints held a slight 45-43 edge in shots and Marist held a 22-19 advantage for shots on goal.

Red Foxes goalkeeper Daniel O’Meara was up for the task in net, making 12 saves on a .632 save percentage as he was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Saints goalkeeper Christopher Yanchoris made 10 saves on a .455 save percentage and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Maryland native had a 10.33 goals-against average and totaled 25 saves in three postseason game.  Yanchoris concludes his career with 512 career saves to rank sixth all-time in program history. Yanchoris also finishes with 15 wins to tied for the fourth most all-time with Tommy Cordts, who played from 2012 through 2016. 

Junior defense Trevor Marsala had caused one turnover to tie the program’s all-time single-season record for most in a season with 30, tying Jack Drillock, who played from 2017-2020.  The All-MAAC First Selection broke the all-time program record for caused turnovers (54) earlier in the season and finishes his junior season with 63 caused turnovers.