Loudonville, N.Y. - Junior attackman Chris Zarins netted his second goal of the game to break a 5-5 tie early in the fourth as the Saints staved off Harvard 6-5 today at Siena Turf Field. Sophomore goalie Brent Herbst made six of his nine saves in the final stanza as Siena improved to 2-0 on the young season.
"Our team put in another great week of practice and it really paid off today," remarked head coach Brian Brecht. "We were able to do the little things and stay mentally focused for the entire 60 minutes which allowed us the chance to pull it out in the end."
In what was a low scoring defensive struggle throughout, Ryan Duggan got the Saints (2-0) offense jumpstarted midway through the first as he found the back of the net off a nice feed from Matt Girsh. Duggan and Girsh led the Saints, both posting a game-high three points apiece.
The Crimson (0-1) however would quickly strike back with three scores in a three minute span midway through the second period to take a 3-1 advantage.
But as soon as Harvard gained momentum, the Saints stole it right back as they answered with three goals of their own in just 58 seconds to reclaim a 4-3 lead entering intermission.
Zarins picked up the first goal during the run at the 5:45 mark with Girsh tying the game at 3-3 just 43 seconds later. On the ensuing faceoff, defenseman Chris Viviano secured the ground ball and streaked down the length of the field to put Siena back on top.
In the second half, Harvard tied the game at 4-4 on Max Motschwiller's second goal of the afternoon. After Girsh put Siena back on top with 6:28 remaining in the third, the Crimson would again fight back to nod the score at five on a Francis Ellis goal.
In the fourth, Harvard controlled most of the offensive action out-shooting Siena 9-3, but Herbst made some clutch saves. Despite only taking three shots in the period, the Saints were able to get one to find the back of the net as Duggan found Zarins in front of the goal to put the Saints up for good at the 12:15 mark, 6-5.
"I thought the defense and Brent was outstanding today, especially when it matter most in the fourth," added Brecht.
In what was a relatively even played game, Harvard harbored a 28-21 shots advantage, while the Saints held a 34-28 edge in groundballs.
Originally scheduled for a 2 o'clock start, the game was moved ahead to 12 noon as a result of inclement weather in the area on Friday evening. Noted Brecht, "I want to send out a special thank you to the people who helped get the field in superb playing shape this afternoon, namely Assistant Athletic Director Dennis Bates who if not for his efforts this game would not have been possible today."
With just two days off, the Saints will now prepare for their cross-town showdown with nationally ranked UAlbany on Tuesday. Game time is set for 2 p.m. from the state capital.
|Ryan Duggan||(1, 2)|
|Matt Girsh||(2, 1)|
|Chris Zarins||(2, 0)|
|Chris Viviano||(1, 0)|
|Brent Herbst||9 (0.643)|