KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College men's lacrosse team won their sixth straight game, as they took down WCSU on senior day at the Owl Athletic Complex. With the 22-3 win, the Owls have won the right to host the LEC semifinals and final, starting May 3.
- Keene State: 8-5 (7-0 LEC)
- Western Connecticut: 10-6 (5-2 LEC)
How It Happened
Before the game, KSC honored six seniors for their contributions on the field over their careers as Owls. Steve Hamel, Chris Morgan, Charles Molloy IV, JJ Downey, Gabe Cormier and Bobby Carey were recognized for their efforts. Keene State used a plethora of scoring options, physical defense, and intensity through four quarters to take down West Conn. The first quarter set the tone for the hosts, as Connor Nolan started things off with an unassisted goal. 30 seconds later, senior Bobby Carey continued his impressive week with a goal off a Dave Wiedenfeld assist. Wiedenfeld then played helper again, as he fed Joe Nutting a pass for a great finish. At the 5:12 mark, Wiedenfeld took the ball from behind the net, beat a defender and fired in a solo goal, before Carey grabbed his second off a Liam Flanagan pass. This goal gave KSC a 5-0 lead after one quarter.
The second quarter was no different for the Owls, who swarmed West Conn's net the whole 15 minutes. Bobby Carey grabbed his hat-trick off a Nutting pass, Nolan scored his second off an assist from Michael Fritschy and Nutting scored unassisted. With the score 8-0, Justin Norris became the fifth different Owl to score, when he capped off a great run with a cool finish. Nutting then grabbed two more goals, as Connor Nolan and Wiedenfeld played as helpers, giving the Owls a commanding 11-0 lead at the half.
Keene State kept the intensity heading out for the second half, the physical defense aided odd man rushes, and open opportunities for the offense. Steve Hamel picked up the opening faceoff and took it all the way in for a goal just 13 seconds in. At the 12:17 mark, JJ Downey found the net off a Travis Hamilton caused turnover and assist, before Nutting made it 14-0 off another Hamilton helper. Shane Molloy then joined the goal scorers with a solo finish of his own, before Corbin White and Max Thurston became the ninth and tenth Owls to score. With 2:31 to go, Jack Brierley finally got West Conn on the board before Nutting scored his sixth off a Wiedenfeld pass for an 18-1 lead.
Molloy IV started the fourth quarter just how Hamel started the third, picking up a ground ball off the faceoff, and taking it the distance with a great finish. Alec DeRosa then gave the Colonials their second goal, before White added his second for KSC. With six minutes to go, Robert Swensen fended off three defenders and fired one past the goalkeeper for West Conn. Alec Dawson responded for the Owls with his first goal of the day, off a Jordan Caito pass, before John Morgan put in the last goal of the game. Keene State's stellar defensive effort, and cohensive offense came away with a big 22-3 win. The Owls clinched the LEC regular season title for the seventh season in a row.
Inside the Crease
- Joe Nutting led the way with six goals and one assist. Bobby Carey had a hat-trick, and Dave Wiedenfeld added one goal and four assists.
- The Owls saw goals from four of the seniors in Carey (3), Downey (1), Molloy IV (1) and Hamel (1).
- West Conn had goals from DeRosa, Swensen and Brierley.
- Chase Chamberlin was solid in net, picking up eight saves while only allowing one goal for the win. JJ Tinney made five saves in the fourth quarter. Perry Cassidy and Derek Strine had 15 combined saves for WCSU.
- Matthew Lemke and Molloy IV led the way with five ground balls each. Senior Gabe Cormier had an impressive four caused turnovers.
- The Owls outshot the Colonials 66-31.
- Keene State heads to Southern Maine, for their final regular season contest on Friday, April 26th at 6:00 p.m.
- West Conn heads to UMass Boston on Friday, April 26th for a 7:00 p.m. start.