Owls Come Up Short In Season Opener Against RPI

KEENE, N.H.- The Keene State Owls men's lacrosse team dropped their season opener Saturday afternoon from the Owl Athletic Complex at the hands of Rensselaer Polyethnic Institute (RPI) by a final score of 12-9. 

Records:

  • Rensselaer Polyethnic Institute: 2-0
  • Keene State: 0-1

How it Happened:

Keene State's senior Connor Nolan opened the scoring for the Owls at the 7:22 mark of the contest, giving the Owls the early 1-0 lead. Following the opening goal by Nolan, the Owls saw RPI score the next six goals, carrying over into the second quarter. Cooper Urban scored three goals for the Engineers, including the first two of the afternoon for RPI. Urban capped off his hattrick goal with 10:04 to play in the second quarter, giving RPI the 6-1 lead. 

The Owls would find their feet again, shortly after Urban's hattrick as junior Joe Nutting would pick up a goal and an assist for the Owls on the next two plays, bringing the Owls deficit to just three goals in the second quarter. RPI tallied for the next three goals, gaining edge on Keene State. Keene's Anthony Marcella scored the Owls fourth and final goal of the half, closing the score to 9-4 after two quarters. Goalkeeper Brian Doughty came away with eight saves in the first half, matching the number of saves that GK Chase Chamberlin had as well. 

RPI continued to put on the pressure of Keene State to open the second half, as Owen Putman tallied for the Engineers while up a man. The Owls push to comeback started off with a Matthew Lemke unassisted tally, followed by Jordan Caito scoring just 43 seconds later, bringing the Owls back within striking distance. Dave Wiedenfeld collected the Owls third consecutive goal, putting the Owls down three with four minutes to go in the third quarter. RPI's Owen Putman tallied his second goal of the game, giving the Engineers the four-goal cushion. 

Keene's Joe Nutting would bury an early fourth quarter goal but with a man up, Tyler Nalls scored for RPI and the Owls could night find a way to fight back in the contest. Dave Wiedenfeld collected his second goal of the game, but ultimately the Owls fell short to the Engineers 12-9. 

Inside the Crease:

  • This is the third consecutive season that the Owls have opened their non-conference schedule with RPI. This is the first time since 2015 that the home team has not won the contest, as Keene State picked up the 12-11 OT victory on February 28, 2015 at RPI.  
  • RPI was led by Cooper Urban who tallied three goals and three assists on the afternoon. RPI also saw three goals from Owen Putman, on 11 total shots. 
  • GK Chase Chamberlin came away with his first loss of the season for the Owls as he allowed all 12 goals. Chamberlin picked up 15 saves on the afternoon. His counterpart, GK Brian Doughty picks up his second win on the season, after allowing nine goals on 20 shots, picking up 11 saves.
  • The Owls won the advantage in the faceoff circle, winning 15-out-of-24 draws. Keene also collected 22 groundballs and caused eight turnovers in the contest.
  • Dave Wiedenfeld, Joe Nutting and Jordan Caito all picked up two goals in the Owls defeat. 

Up Next:

  • The Owls remain at home as they host Western New England University on Tuesday, February 26 at 4:00 pm from the Owl Athletic Complex.
  • RPI plays their first home contest of the season, as they host Coast Guard on Wednesday February 26 at 5:00 pm.