Loudonville, N.Y. (NEWS10) — First Team All-MAAC selection Kelly Horning bookended a decisive four-goal third quarter run as fourth seeded Fairfield defeated No. 2 Siena 10-8 in the MAAC Semifinals at Hickey Field.
 
Horning scored a game-high four goals for three-time defending MAAC Tournament Champion Fairfield (12-6), which advances to the program’s fifth consecutive MAAC Championship Game Sunday at 1 p.m. back at Hickey Field. Olivia Doody added a game-high five points, dishing out four assists for the Stags who prevailed in a rematch of the past two MAAC Championship Games – also won by Fairfield – in 2019 and 2021.
 
MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Nicole McNeely capped a brilliant career with four points and one final hat trick for Siena (10-8), while once again stuffing the stat sheet with four groundballs, three draw controls, and three caused turnovers. Ally Mervine tied a program MAAC Tournament record with 11 saves in goal for the Saints, who have dropped 26 of 30 all-time meetings against the perennial MAAC power Stags.
 
Neither team led by more than two goals in a defensive-minded first half which yielded a 4-4 stalemate at the break. After Siena reclaimed the lead early in the second half, Fairfield responded with their game-changing four-goal flurry to secure an 8-5 advantage on a Horning strike with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter.
 
The Saints received back-to-back goals late from their big guns McNeely and Mary Soures to rally within a single-goal at 9-8 with 4:34 remaining. But the Stags’ deliberate pace throughout continued to slow Siena late, and Amanda Kozak added a back-breaking tally with 2:30 left to seal the Saints’ fate.  
 
Siena held slight advantages in both shots (27-25) and groundballs (20-19), while Fairfield harbored a 14-8 margin in draw controls in the tightly contested battle. Olivia Conquest made nine saves for the Stags, which held the Saints to five goals under their season average.
 
Freshman phenom Grace Dobrzynski added three more assists to finish off her program single-season record at 42 for the Saints. In an all-around record-breaking spring which saw numerous program benchmarks shattered, Soures finished with a record 61 goals, while McNeely ended with a benchmark 87 points. McNeely also graduates as the program’s all-time career leader by a sizeable margin in goals (147), assists (80), and points (227).
 
Siena concludes another successful season on the rise, highlighted by a share of the program’s second MAAC Regular Season Championship. The future is bright for the Saints, who are set to return a strong, seasoned core in 2023 focused on taking the next step.

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