April 24, 2013

Owls hold off Panthers 14-10; Capture LEC regular season title

KEENE, N.H. 4/24/13 – The Keene State College men's lacrosse team captured the Little East Conference regular season championship with a 14-10 win over rival Plymouth State University at Owl Athletic Complex on Wednesday. It's the fifth time KSC has won the LEC regular season title.

Leading 11-3 at the half, the Owls withstood a second half rally by the Panthers to post the win. "I told the boys, it wasn't a great way to end the game, but we are 12-2," said KSC Coach Mark Theriault. "We have to look at the positives, learned from it and move forward."

Winners of six straight, Keene State (12-2, 6-0 LEC) will be the top seed in the LEC tournament.  Plymouth State (8-3, 4-2 LEC), which saw its two game winning streak come to an end, is currently third in the LEC standings.

Senior Ian Hart (Richmond, N.H.) scored four goals and Senior Taylor Jette (Simsbury, Conn.) had three goals and dished out three assists to lead the Owls.

Junior Chris Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.) and junior Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) each netted three goals for the Panthers. Senior Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) had three assists and sophomore Aaron Boss (Keene, N.H.) and Frank also had two assists in the game.

Keene State scored the first four goals of the game with freshman Tyler McKelvie (Acton, Mass.) giving the Owls a 4-0 lead at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter.

Junior Brett Miller (Windham, N.H.) and Annunciata tallied goals 13 seconds apart to make it 4-2. 

Jette and Ian Hart scored in the final minutes to give KSC a 6-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After Annunciata scored to open the second quarter, the Owls quickly responded with the next five goals to take an 11-3 halftime lead.  Jetted led the uprising with a goal and an assist.

The Panthers came storming back in the second half.  A goal by freshman Stephen Patch (Newbury, N.H.) capped off a string of three consecutive Panthers goals, cutting Keene State's lead to 13-7 at the end of the third quarter. 

Jette picked up his third goal of the game at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 14-10, but PSU scored the last three goals of the game to account for the final score.

"We didn't play very well and you have to give Plymouth credit, said Theriault. "They picked it up, got a little confidence and started playing well."

Sophomore Ryan Hart (Richmond, N.H.) and McKelvie each scored two goals while sophomore Curt Serafini (Westford, Mass.), senior Taylor Wicke (Fairfield, Conn.) and senior Billy Reis (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) also found the back of the net for Keene State.

Freshman Alex Sharp (Winchester, Mass.) finished the game with 14 saves for KSC.

Junior Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) started in goal for the Panthers and made six saves in the first half.  Freshman Bobby Noonan (Guilford, Conn.) played the second half and stopped 10 shots.

Both teams wrap up their regular seasons on Saturday.  Keene State is at Western Conn. (3 p.m.) and the Panthers travel to UMass-Dartmouth (1 p.m.).