POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist men's lacrosse team, seeded fourth in this weekend's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament will take on top-seeded Siena in the semifinals Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Tenney Stadium.
It is the third consecutive season, and sixth overall, that the Red Foxes have qualified for the MAAC Tournament. They are looking to advance past the semifinals for the first time since they won the MAAC Title back in 2005
Marist (6-7, 3-3 MAAC) will be playing in the second semifinal of the day. They will follow the matchup between second-seeded Detroit and the third seed Canisius, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. The two winners from Friday will advance to the Sunday's championship game to be played at 12 p.m., also at Tenney Stadium.
Juniors Jack Doherty (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Connor Rice (Penfield, N.Y.) lead the Red Foxes in scoring with 41 and 40 points, respectively. Doherty is first in goals with 29 and second in assists with 12 while Rice leads the team with 23 assists and is tied for second with 17 goals. Freshman Drew Nesmith (Montclair, N.J.) is tied with Rice with 17 goals while Colin Joka (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Evan Guarini (Long Valley, N.J) round out the top-five with 14 goals apiece. Matt Dugan (Cortland, N.Y.) not only leads the team with a .483 (111-230) faceoff percentage, but also has a team-high 55 ground balls. The long-pole trio of Kevin Defranco (Shoreham, N.Y.), Zach Badalucco (Brewster, N.Y.) and Ethan Fox (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) all rank 2-4 on the team with 37, 34 and 32 ground balls, respectively. The same three are tops in causing turnovers with Fox leading with 15, Defranco second with 12 and Badalucco with eight. Sophomore goalie Craig Goodermote (Holtsville, N.Y.) has appeared in all 13 games this year, starting 12 of them. He currently ranks 25th in the country with 10.0 saves per game and 27th with a 9.68 goals against average.
As a team, Marist is eighth in the nation with a 46% success rate on their man-up opportunities. Their man-down defense has also been worth of note, killing off 70% of their man-down situations, ranking 23rd nationally.
The Red Foxes are seeking to end a seven-game losing streak at the hands of Siena, including a loss in the 2010 MAAC Semifinals and a 20-8 defeat two weeks ago in Loudonville. The last time they were victorious versus the Saints was on April 19, 2006, an 8-7 victory at Siena.
The Saints are led by the combination of Brian Neufeld and Danny Martinsen, who rank 1-2 in the MAAC in scoring with 74 and 58 points, respectively. They both have split their scoring evenly between goals and assists as Neufeld has 37 of each while Martinsen has 29. Neufeld recently broke the MAAC career scoring mark of 231 career points, previously held by Marist's Paul Donohue of the class of 2002.