Eulogizing the 2013 College Lacrosse Season: (39) Siena

It was another crushing loss in the MAAC Tournament for the Saints.

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2013 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 63 teams and their 2013 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Siena Saints

2013 Record: 8-9 (4-2, MAAC)

2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.94 (48)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -3.02 (56)

Winning Percentage Change from 2012: -21.69%

2013 Efficiency Margin: -3.79 (39)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -7.75

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • The team's adjusted offensive efficiency value -- 29.82, 32nd nationally -- may not indicate that the Saints were a handful for opposing goalkeepers, but when you drill a little deeper into Siena's profile, John Svec's offense did a nice job functionally pantsing opposing netminders:

    SIENA'S GOALIE-EMBARRASSING EXPERIENCE
    METRIC VALUE NATIONAL RANK NATIONAL AVERAGE
    Shots/Offensive Opportunity 0.99 57 1.09
    Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 31.42% 11 27.87%
    Opponent Saves/100 Offensive Opportunities 26.77 1 34.16
    Opponent Save Percentage 46.37% 7 53.02%
    Siena picked their spots to unleash and were strong in picking corners; that's an important trait for offenses that are somewhat inefficient in the overall. The biggest drivers behind the Saints' soul-crushing shooting performance in 2013 was a duo that accounted for over a quarter of Siena's attempts: Richie Hurley (41.1 percent) and Colin Clive (38.4 percent). Those two guys were able to shoot with volume (only two other players -- Conor Prunty and Danny Martinsen -- took more shots than either Hurley or Clive) and connect with accuracy. That's value-oriented usage, and it paid dividends for the Saints. The best part of this for Siena (and the worst part for goalkeepers that need to deal with the Saints next season)? Hurley and Clive return in 2014, and Prunty -- coming into his junior season with Siena -- should have an improved shot (Prunty shot 26.7 percent in 2013).

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • Siena has now endured consecutive MAAC Tournament championship games in which it should have cruised to the league's automatic invitation to The Big Barbecue but instead ended their season with a weapon-grade level of pathos. In 2012, it was Canisius erasing a three-goal deficit at the half to drop Siena 10-9, holding the Saints scoreless in the final 30 minutes of play (this was a Siena team that was plus-43 in goal differential during the MAAC regular season); in 2013, it was Detroit storming back from a 8-4 halftime deficit (a hole that grew to five goals early in the third period) to eventually defeat the Saints in overtime, 11-10. Svec is still getting his feet underneath him at Siena, but the Saints' performance in the last two conference tournament championships borders on the dramatically tragic -- leads that evaporate due to a loss of performance execution. It's like the Saints devolve when it should be progressing; it's . . . I don't know what it is. All I do know, though, is that Siena has experienced an almost dangerous level of pain in games it should have put away, instead playing square with their opponents (and eventually losing):

    Detroit-Siena ('13 MAAC Final): Truncated Tempo-Free Box Score
    Metric Detroit Siena
    Offensive Efficiency (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 33.33 32.26
    Offensive Opportunities 33 31
    Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.45 0.87
    Offensive Shooting Percentage 22.92% 37.04%
    Turnovers (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 33.33 58.06
    Team Save Percentage 44.44% 56.00%
    Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 25.81 42.42

    Canisius-Siena ('12 MAAC Final): Truncated Tempo-Free Box Score
    Metric Canisius Siena
    Offensive Efficiency (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 32.26 30.00
    Offensive Opportunities 31 30
    Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.71 0.93
    Offensive Shooting Percentage 45.45% 32.14%
    Turnovers (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 45.16 46.67
    Team Save Percentage 47.06% 33.33%
    Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 26.67 16.13

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • Siena needs to rediscover its defensive acumen. The Saints built a lot of their success under Brian Brecht as a defensively relevant team; in 2013, Siena ranked just 45th in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Saints lost a bit of that fire this past season, and that's not good for a team that faced a schedule ranked 43rd in opposing offenses faced. Until -- and unless -- the Saints can adequately complement their offense with a comparable defense, Siena is going to exist on the fringe of the national consciousness.
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