Mount St. Mary's prepared for huge game vs. Siena
Mount St. Mary’s is trying to toe the line between priority and pretension.
The Mountaineers play host to Siena Saturday at 1 p.m. at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmittsburg in what should be a critical game in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Both teams enter the contest with identical 5-0 league marks and are in the hunt for the regular-season championship and the top seed in the conference tournament.
Mount St. Mary’s has already qualified for the tournament for the second consecutive season after missing the postseason in the previous two years. And while the Mountaineers are assured of falling no lower than the No. 3 seed in the tournament, coach Tom Gravante knows that the players are eager to capture the program’s first regular-season crown since 1999.
"That’s what we’ve been trying to preach in practice, to put their excitement on being focused on the task," he said. "But I hear what their goal is. They’re still very, very hungry. They know the history with this team [Siena, which has won the last four meetings in this series]. So I think this is more personal to them than jockeying for the playoffs. That’s a pressure that they don’t have to worry about anymore."
Both teams are coming off of overwhelming victories with the Saints routing previously undefeated Marist, 14-4, on Wednesday. Mount St. Mary’s thrashed St. Joseph’s, 18-8, on Wednesday night, but the Mountaineers needed a13-4 outburst in the second half to put away the Hawks.
Gravante said Mount St. Mary’s can’t afford to get off to a similar start with Siena.
"They know that they can’t do that against this team," he said. "They can’t make mistakes early on and expect to win the game because this team is better. They’re mature, seasoned, well-coached. So this team needs to stay focused, and my staff and I have continued to preach that in practice."