Profile: 2016 was not really the year Siena faithful were hoping for after a disappointing 5-9 year in 2015. It's not panic time for Saints fans, but I wouldn't blame them if they felt a little uneasy after 3 tournament appearances and 7 double digit win seasons from 2007-2014. Indeed, Siena is only 2 years removed from their last Big BBQ tournament appearance; life was good if you were a Saints fan for nearly a decade.
Nevertheless, while things aren't going to get easier for Saints in 2017, they have the resources and returning talent to make a move up the MAAC standings next year.
2016 Record: 3-10 overall and 2-4 in the MAAC. Siena had a chance to make the MAAC tournament this year but lost an overtime heart-breaker to Monmouth in their last regular season game and missed out on the postseason fun.
Statistically, the Saints dipped offensively in 2016, as they scored nearly a goal/game less than they did in 2015. Siena marginally improved in a few areas from 2015, but the team is still some distance away from how they played in 2014.
Roster: Siena lost 8 seniors to graduation last May, including midfielder Kevin Cousin (10 Gs & 3 As) in 2016, and goalie Tommy Cordts. Cordts is a significant loss, as he started 12 of Siena's 13 games in 2016.
Siena does have a nice group coming back next year in rising junior Brian Prunty, and rising sophomores Keenan Cook & Eric Munn. Brian, Cook, & Munn, all received postseason All-MAAC honors; Prunty was All-MAAC 2nd Team, while Eric & Kennan made the All-MAAC Rookie Team. Additionally, rising junior Chris Robertson broke out in a big way in 2016 as he scored 24 Gs & had 14 As in a successful sophomore campaign after his All-MAAC Rookie year in 2015 (17 Gs & 3 As).
This young foursome, plus rising senior Jordan Barlow (13 Gs & 3 As) & rising junior Tim Cousin (11 Gs & 5 As), provides Siena with some firepower going into the fall. It's not unreasonable to think that the Saints have a decent shot at a MAAC tournament bid in 2017. Siena wasn't that far off this past season and this group will have another offseason to further gel, which could pay off nicely next season. If the Saints get some contribution from their incoming class and a couple rising sophomores, Siena could definitely in the running for a conference tournament bid next year.
Conference: Quinnipiac had a big year in 2016, but for the most part, outside of Marist, the conference was wide open going into the last week of the season. Indeed, Siena was in a threeway tie for 4th place with Detroit and Monmouth going into their season finale against the Hawks. Monmouth won the game in overtime, but despite a subpar season, Siena was still very much in the MAAC conversation through the end of the season.
Quinnipiac is probably the favorite going into 2017, but Siena is within the striking distance of a tournament bid.
What are they doing this summer: Lots of recruiting obviously, but the Saints also had some time to support the Saints Alive! Athletic Fund.
2017 outlook: I think we're going to see a bounce back year from Siena in 2017. I like the guys coming back for and I think they should recover sufficiently from their graduation losses. There is something to work with at Siena and I don't think they are that far away from at least making the MAAC tournament next year.
They almost made it this year and I like how they seem to be getting better with each successive class. One more solid freshman class and steady production from the upperclassmen could result in a MAAC bid and several more wins next season, which would be a major improvement over the last two years.
Non-Sequitor: When the Saints Go Marching In is Siena's fight song and the school's mascot is Bernie "Saint" Bernard.