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Canisius stuns Siena for MAAC title; women lose play-in

POUGHKEEPSIE -- After a stunning comeback for a stunning result, the Canisius men's lacrosse team is going to the NCAA Tournament.

The Golden Griffins, who were routed by Siena during the regular season, owned the second half as they rallied to a 10-9 victory over the Saints in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship Sunday afternoon before 438 at Marist College.

MAAC Rookie of the Year Tim Edwards scored with 1:45 remaining to give Canisius its first -- and only -- lead of the game at 10-9 as Canisius won the second half, 4-0, to come back to win. Siena (11-5), the top-seeded team in the tournament, had beaten third-seeded Canisius, 14-2, in the regular season.

"This win is a testament to our senior class, the 16 seniors who have led this team to a conference championship," Canisius coach Randy Mearns said. "We had to battle to get into the tournament, and we are playing our best lacrosse of the season at the right time."

It was announced Sunday night that Canisius (6-7) will play top-seeded Loyola of Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The game is at Loyola in Baltimore at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Senior Jimmy Haney scored four goals and was named the MAAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Senior goalkeeper Sean Callahan (Orchard Park) made eight saves and joined Senior Brendan Murphy (St. Joe's) on the all-tournament team.

Canisius trailed, 9-6, at halftime and cut the lead to 9-7 after three quarters. Haney beat his man behind the net and finished while cutting around the crease to cut the deficit to 9-8 with 13:33 left. The Griffs' defense kept it a one-goal game with about 10 minutes left by killing off a 60-second man-up opportunity for Siena and Callahan made a point-blank stop.

Canisius tied the game when junior Joe Rautenstrauch (St. Francis) drew the defense in and found Haney, who scored to make it 9-9 with 3:29 left.

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Griff women lose by 1

AMHERST, Mass. -- For the second straight season, the Canisius women's lacrosse team lost to the University of Massachusetts in an NCAA play-in game.

Last year, the Golden Griffins lost by eight goals.

On Sunday, they lost on a goal with four seconds left.

Jesse O'Donnell scored the late goal to lift UMass past Canisius, 13-12, before 271 at UMass' McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

The win gave the Atlantic 10 champion Minutewomen (19-1) an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Division I tournament. The two-time MAAC Champion Griffs -- who lost to UMass last year, 16-8, in the play-in game -- finished the season 10-9.

"Our team played their hearts out today," said Canisius head coach Scott Teeter. "It came down to one final shot and unfortunately, we were on the wrong end today. We showed great heart and resiliency to battle back."

A back-and-forth game saw the teams tied at halftime (7-7). UMass scored two goals 22 seconds apart to take a 12-10 lead with 15:54 left.

Canisius senior Megan Oosting scored her third goal of the game with 12:54 left to make it 12-11. Neither team scored for the next 12 minutes.

UMass held the ball and its one-goal lead with just over a minute remaining. Canisius pulled its goaltender in favor of an extra defender. A UMass shot went off the post, Canisius collected the loose ball, cleared and earned a free-position chance. Sophomore Maria Kotas (Lancaster) scored her second goal of the day to tie the game at 12 with 25 seconds left.

UMass is ranked eighth in this week's DeBeers Media Poll and 15th in the April 30 Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association poll.