KEENE, N.H. -- The Keene State College men's lacrosse team heads into the LEC semifinals this afternoon on a seven game winning streak, after winning the right to host the remainder of the tournament as the number one seed, with their perfect 8-0 conference mark.
Keene State is 9-5 overall and finished 8-0 in the LEC. The Owls will take on the number four seed UMass-Dartmouth in the 4:00 p.m. semifinal. The Corsairs won their quarterfinal contest against Eastern Connecticut State University 9-6 to improve to 8-9 overall. The 7:00 p.m. semifinal will take place between second-seeded Plymouth State University and sixth-seeded UMass-Boston. The Panthers finished the year 7-7 overall and 6-2 in the LEC, while the Beacons are currently 5-13. UMB advanced to the semis on the back of an 11-7 upset win over No. 3 seed Western Connecticut.
KSC is led by Mark Theriault in his 19th season. Theriault is looking for his sixth straight LEC championship. He is a seven time LEC Coach of the Year and has a career record of 224-95. UMass-Dartmouth is led by Ryan Murphy in his second season. Murphy has amassed a career record of 16-19. Plymouth State is led by head coach Gordon Webb (84-71) in his 11th season. UMass-Boston is led by head coach Tyler Low in his ninth season.
The Owls boast a balanced offense, led by junior Dave Wiedenfeld. Wiedenfeld leads KSC with 57 points on 25 goals and 32 assists. He is five assists away from the KSC single season record. Sophomore Joe Nutting is second on the team with 39 goals and 15 assists, for 54 points. Anthony Marcella (40 points), Connor Nolan (30 points), Bobby Carey (27 points) and Shane Molloy (25 points) round out the top scorers for the Owls. Keene State is led defensively by Charles Molloy IV, with 60 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers, Steve Hamel with 19 caused turnovers and Gabe Cormier with 18 CT's. Chase Chamberlin has spent most of the season as the starter in goal for KSC, making 10 starts. Chamberlin has picked up seven wins and made 76 saves.
The Earlier Matchup
Keene State beat UMass-Dartmouth 19-10 in the regular season meeting on March 30. The Owls were led by Joe Nutting's three goals and two assists. Plymouth State beat UMass-Boston 15-9 earlier in the year.
The Rest of the Tournament
With the Keene State/UMass-Dartmouth game taking place on Friday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m., the Plymouth State/UMass-Boston game will start at 7:00 p.m. The two semifinal winners will meet on Saturday, May 4 for a 1:00 p.m. start at the Owl Athletic Complex. The Little East conference winner will receive an automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament.