POUGHKEEPSIE N.Y. – Drew Nesmith (Montclair, N.J.) scored the game-winner 31 seconds into overtime, ripping a low-to-low shot from straight on, to lift the Marist men’s lacrosse team to an emotional 10-9 victory over Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rival Siena on Saturday afternoon before a raucous crowd at Tenney Stadium. The win gave Marist at least a share of the MAAC Regular Season Championship, its first since 2004, and the top seed at next month’s MAAC Tournament. The Red Foxes were also celebrating Senior Day on Saturday as 14 seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony.
Nesmith finished with two goals on the day, joining senior Jack Doherty (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Joseph Radin (Long Beach, N.Y.), who was wearing the symbolic #34 jersey on Saturday, who also found the back of the net twice. Senior Jim Marks (Camillus, N.Y.) scored a team-high three goals and senior Connor Rice (Penfield, N.Y.) had two assists. Matt Dugan (Cortland, N.Y.) went 11-21 in face-offs and collected a team-high eight ground balls. Patrick Eaker (Redding, Conn.) caused four turnovers and collected four ground balls and Dave Scarcello (Buffalo, N.Y.) made 10 saves in goal.
Marist (9-2, 5-0 MAAC) got on the board first with a pair of goals in a 1:45 span in the first quarter. Mike Begley (Brookeville, Md.) opened the scored with an unassisted tally at the 9:31 mark and Doherty followed with his first score with 7:45 left on the clock.
Siena (5-8, 3-2 MAAC) got one back with a goal with 4:27 left, but Radin scored with 32 seconds left in the opening period, finding the back of the net on an assist from Rice to give the Red Foxes a 3-1 after the first quarter.
The Saints scored the first four goals of the second quarter to take a 5-3 lead as Siena goalie Tommy Cordts made five saves in the period.
Marks however scored twice in the final minutes of the second quarter to pull Marist back into a tie at halftime. He scored unassisted at the 3:02 mark and then, after Scarcello made a save with 19 seconds left before the end of the quarter, Gannon Osborn (Canandaigua, N.Y.) cleared the ball down the field and found Marks who buried his shot with just three seconds left to even the score at 5-5.
Marks completed his hat trick, scoring his third consecutive goals just 32 seconds into the third quarter to put Marist back ahead at 6-5.
That lead would hold for over seven minutes until Siena tied the score with 7:24 on the clock.
Doherty gave the lead back to the Red Foxes with his second unassisted goal of the game at the 4:58 mark.
Just 42 seconds after the Saints tied things up again, Rice, while running away from the goal, threaded pass through several Siena defenders to a wide open Radin in front of the crease for his second goal of the game to put Marist up 8-7 going into the fourth quarter.
Siena tied the score again at the 12:29 mark, but Nesmith put the Red Foxes back in fron with his first score with 10:15 left in regulation. Siena scored at 8:54 to bring the game into its sixth tie.
Scarcello made by far his biggest stop of the game, making a kick save on a point-blank shot with just three seconds left in the fourth quarter to preserve the tie and send it into overtime.
Dugan cleanly won his 11th draw of the game to open the overtime period, gaining possession for the Red Foxes and setting up Nesmith’s heroics.
Marist closes out the regular season with a pair of road games next week. The Red Foxes will step out of MAAC play when they travel to St. Joseph’s on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game. They will then play at Manhattan on Saturday as they look to complete an undefeated MAAC season. The MAAC Championships will take place May 5-7 in Buffalo, N.Y., on Canisius’ home field.