April 9, 2013

Keene State Locks Down Bowdoin in Second Half To Take One-Goal Victory 6-5

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Keene State men's lacrosse team held Bowdoin College scoreless for the final 40:14 and rallied to take a 6-5 non-conference win in a battle of top New England teams on Tuesday evening at Ryan Field. It was the first win by KSC over Bowdoin in five meetings.

The Owls, who came into the game ranked ninth in New England, improve to 8-3 this spring while the fifth-ranked Polar Bears fall to 6-4.

Keene State's stingy shut-down defense was led by freshman Alex Sharp (Winchester, Mass.) , who finished the game with a season high 14 saves.  "We played great team defense.  Every time they got the ball down in our side of the field they made it happen," said Sharp, whose strong play enabled the Owls  to come back and win the game.

"They came out flying and got a couple of goals and we just were able to shut them down," said sophomore defender Mike Curley (Billerica, Mass.)  "They were shooting from outside and Sharp was eating up everything." 

"In the second half we dug right in defensively and you have to give all the credit to our defense and Alex Sharp.  He just played a phenomenal game," said KSC Coach Mark Theriault. 

"This is the first check-off win for me because we've never beaten Bowdoin," said Theriault.  "This really builds momentum going into our remaining Little East games." 

Seniors Ian Hart (Richmond, N.H.) and JT Galloway (Simsbury, Conn) and freshman Tyler McKelvie (Acton, Mass.) each scored two goals for the Owls. Bowdoin's Franklin Reis scored four times to lead all players.

After Galloway scored the initial goal of the contest, Bowdoin reeled off three straight - all by Reis - to take a 3-1 advantage. McKelvie was able to get one back for the Owls late in the opening stanza to trim the lead to 3-2 after one quarter.

Bowdoin opened the second quarter with consecutive goals from David Nemirow and Reis to take a 5-2 advantage with 10:14 remaining in the half. But the Polar Bears would not score again and Keene got tallies from McKelvie and Hart to make it a 5-4 at the break.

Galloway and Hart scored third-period goals less than a minute a part to give Keene State a 6-5 advantage with 6:46 remaining in the quarter. "I went down the right ally and snuck it in low," said Hart about his game-winner.  "Their goalie thought he was on his pipe, but I just put it into the low corner.  I never thought it would be the game winner with so much time to go." 

Neither team could find the back of the net in the fourth quarter despite several good chances by both squads. Bowdoin's Billy Bergner hit a post with 13:00 left in the quarter and the Owls' Taylor Wicke (Fairfield, Conn.) rang one off the bar less than two minutes later. Bowdoin had a late possession with under 90 seconds to play, but a hard shot by Reis sailed wide of the goal. Keene gained possession off the miss and was able to run out the remaining seconds.

Bowdoin goalie Christopher Williamson also stopped 14 shots. Bowdoin held a 37-31 edge in shots, a 30-29 lead in ground balls and committed 16 turnovers to 21 for Keene State. Senior Billy Reis (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) had six ground balls for KSC. Bowdoin's Ben Brewster led all players with three caused turnovers and eight ground balls.

Keene State will return to action on Friday at Salem State for a 5:00 p.m. start.