KEENE, N.H.--A stirring second half comeback came up just short as the Keene State College field hockey team fell to Little East Conference foe Eastern Connecticut State University, 5-4, on Senior Day at Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 10-6, 8-2 LEC
- Eastern Conn. State: 7-6, 6-4 LEC
How it Happened
The Warriors scored twice in the first 10 minutes en route to a 4-1 first half lead. The Owls outshot their opponents 21-8 and held a 15-1 edge in penalty corners, but were down in the sixth minute when Tia LaFrance Boyce scored from Alex Kallgren's corner. Less than four minutes later, LaFrance Boyce netted her second of the game with an assist from Erin Sheehan.
Julia Babbitt had Keene State's first chance but shot wide in the 12th minute, and the Warriors added a third when Alex Kallgren scored on the third attempt after Owls' goalie Rachel Loseby had saved her first two attempts.
That forced the Owls into a timeout, and the break worked, as Jensyn Dandeneau netted her 13th goal of the season off an assist from Nina Bruno in the 22nd minute. The spurred the Owls' offense into life, as KSC earned five corners in the next five minutes, while putting four shots on. Warriors' goalie Maddie LaRusso saved from Casi Smith and Ally McCall, and Kallgren restored a three goal lead in the 30th minute to sent the Warriors into the break up 4-1.
The Owls came out renewed in the second half, peppering the Warriors goal with shots. LaRusso saved Kelsey Roberts' effort, but could not keep out Kendal Browns' effort in the 46th minute that cut it to 4-2. Keene State's persistence paid off, as Dandeneau scored her second of the game in the 54th minute to make it a one goal game. Less than a minute later, Kallgren completed her hat-trick that made it 5-3, a goal that would prove crucial when Roberts scored in the 63rd minute.
Brown's shot with 64:19 on the clock was saved by LaRusso, and even when the Owls pulled their goalie with 2:07 to go, a goal to force overtime could not be found. Loseby made two saves, while Paige Noble did not make a save in 52 minutes of action. LaRusso made eight saves for the Warriors.
- Before the game, Keene State's senior trio of Brittany Johnson, Casi Smith, and Kendal Brown. The three have won the LEC regular season and tournament title in each of their previous three years.
- It was Eastern Conn. State's first win over Keene State in 15 years.
- Despite the loss, Keene State is still in position to finish with at least the No. 2 seed in the LEC tournament by winning their last conference game, at UMass Dartmouth on October 21. Keene State and Plymouth State are currently tied for second but the Owls own the tiebreaker due to their 2-1 overtime win over the Panthers on September 19.
- Keene State welcomes Williams College to town for a non-conference tilt on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
- The Warriors will also be in action against a NESCAC opponent, hosting Connecticut College on October 18 at 4:30 p.m.