Last season the Siena Saints finished the year 5-9. The second half of the 2015 schedule was not good to the Saints as they went 1-6. The Syracuse Orange kicked off its 2015 schedule against Siena and slaughtered their upstate New York neighbors 21-7, and I don't see anything different happening this season.
Siena comes into 2016 ranked fifth out of seven team in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. I don't think there is any shot that this program makes the NCAA Tournament and it is certainly a long shot that the Saints will receive a bid to the MAAC Tournament. This will definitely be a good warm up game for the ‘Cuse.
For Saturday, let's take a quick look at Siena to see who the players to watch will be.
Chris Robertson is a Canadian product and a 2015 MAAC All-Rookie Team selection. Robertson had a .386 shooting percentage and picked up 20 points last season. Jordan Barlow took a step back in 2015 from his standout rookie season in 2014 the junior out of Glastonbury, CT, has 44 goals through two years and is an excellent compliment to Robertson. Delaware native Michael Pettit has played mostly midfield in his Siena career but did start two games at attack last season. The Senior is looking to improve on his eight goals and two assists in 2015, and as the potential third starter at attack, he should get more opportunities.
The Siena midfield is not very strong. Jon-Michael Tokar may be the best available midfielder. He has seen the field in 24 games over two years, totaling six goals and five assists. Kevin Cousin has made two starts in his career but played in a total of 42 games; he has never had more than four points in a season. Kevin's younger brother Tim Cousin had five points last season but came to Siena as a US Lacrosse All-American. Brian Prunty could also be a factor this year. The sophomore had just one goal last season but was another US Lacrosse All-American when he arrived on campus.
At the long-stick midfielder position, Joe Arcarese has been moved down to play close defense so the position is open. Senior Neil Gollogly and freshman Mike Sullivan are the most likely candidates to fill the position.
The Saints lost its top faceoff midfielder, Casey Dowd, to graduation. Dowd had a .502 faceoff winning percentage. Tyler Pantalone has a career .318 faceoff winning percentage but has only taken 15 faceoffs in his time at Siena. Just as inexperienced is Hunter Sanna, who picked up four wins off of 11 faceoff attempts, but Hunter was a US Lacrosse All-American in high school. I can't imagine that Ben Williams will have any problems on Saturday.
The two standouts on defense are Joe Arcarese and Luke Van Schepen. Schepen picked up 14 groundballs and caused 10 turnovers in 2015 while starting 10 of 14 games. The sophomore is another Canadian guy and has experience playing the box style of lacrosse. Arcarese starting 12 games last season and is a Coaches' Preseason All-Conference selection at the long-stick midfielder position. While he was an LSM for his last two years, expect to see him anchoring the defense. The junior has snagged 32 groundballs and 20 caused turnovers in his two seasons.
Tommy Cordts is the most experienced goalie on the roster. The fifth year senior has 26 starts under his belt and has compiled a 9.86 goals against average and a .525 save percentage in his career. There are several other players in the mix, but no one with even close to the experience of Cordts.