KEENE, N.H.- The #2 seed Keene State Owls men's soccer team scored in the 55th minute of the contest, which was the only goal they needed to punch their ticket into the Little East Conference Championship game on Sunday, defeating the #3 seed Rhode Island College Anchormen.
#2 Keene State: 14-6-0
#3 Rhode Island College: 10-7-2
How it Happened:
The Owls dominates the possession of play in the first 45 minutes of play. Goalkeepers Charlie Tashjian for the Rhode Island College Anchormen and Nate Howard from the Owls had to be on their toes early. Keene State came away with 62% of the possession in the first half, where Rhode Island College only held the ball for 38% of the time. The anchormen were caught in their own half of the field when Emmanuel Smith had the best opportunity in the first half in the 5th minute, but GK Charlie Tashjian came away with the save.
In the first half, neither team was able to put the ball into the back of the net. Keene State dominated in shots taking nine to Rhode Island College's one shot. That one shot came by David Pierre Allen in the 17th minute of the contest, but Nate Howard was there for the save. Tashijan made two saves on two shots on goal in the first half by the Owls. Nate Howard was significantly less busy, only having to make one save on one shot on goal by the Anchormen.
KSC would come away with some of the best opportunities in the early stages of the first half. The Owls were awarded a free kick when Kevin Tay Munoz committed a foul ten yards outside of the box. Keene State's Jack Herlihy took the resulting free kick and sent a soaring ball into the box. The Owls Benny Tamzarian and the Anchormen's Roman Davis went head to head for the ball and Davis was able to get a head on the ball but batted the ball back and into his own cage, giving the Owls the 1-0 lead. This is the first own goal the Owls have seen this season.
The Anchormen would not go away easy as they battled for the full 90 minutes coming up with quality chances as time winded down. In the 80th minute, it was the Anchormen that were awarded with a free kick from 10 yards outside the box. Brandon Ramos took the free kick for the Anchormen and put it just in front of the goalie box where Roman David used his head to fire a shot that Nate Howard had to make a diving save to his right to keep the lead for his team.
Late in the second half, the Anchormen would go on one final attack, as Brandon Ramos took open space in the middle of the field and had an attempt at goal. Ramos used his right foot to take a strike on the goal that GK Nate Howard chased down and watch go wide of the left post. The Owls took the game 1-0 and move on to the LEC championship game.
Inside the Box:
- Nobody from Keene State was awarded with points in the evening contest, as an Owl goal sparked the win for the Owls. Jack Herlihy took the shot that bounced off the head of Rhode Island College's #23 Roman Davis and into the net, giving the Owls the 1-0 lead and only goal of the game.
- GK Nate Howard saw the start for the first time since the first game of the season for the Owls when he picked up the win 3-2 over Salem State. Howard appears in net for just the 5th time of the season for KSC overall.
- Sophomore Brandon Ramos led the Anchormen in shots on the evening with three. Ramos put up one shot on goal, that was stopped by Keene's Nate Howard.
- GK Charlie Tashjian made six saves in the losing effort. Tashjian came away with two saves in the first half and four saves in the second half.
- KSC moves to the LEC Championship game for the second consecutive season, and third time under head coach Rick Scott.
- The #2 seeded Owls move into the LEC Championship game where they will take on the #1 seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University at Rick McCarthy Field. The championship game will be held on Sunday, November 10 at noon.
- With the loss, the Anchormen's season concludes with a 10-6-2 record.