KEENE, N.H.--During the summer of 2018, the Keene State College Department of Athletics and Recreation will be looking back at some of the memorable and historic moments from the year that was 2017-18.
Our No. 2 moment looks back at field hockey coach Amy Watson's 400th career victory, which came in dramatic fashion.
The Owls came into the season needing three wins to make Watson the eighth coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 400 wins. A 2-1 win over Colby-Sawyer in the season opener was the first, and a 6-0 thumping of Framingham State University gave Watson 399 wins. But the Owls were dented in their next three attempts, falling to Worcester State, Amherst, and Springfield.
Next up for the Owls was a road contest against Fitchburg State, a team the Owls have historically dominated. It took Nina Bruno's goal with eight seconds left to give the Owls a tight 1-0 victory.
Keene State outshot the Rams 16-2, peppering Fitchburg State goalies Kasey Mammone and Rhiannon Fletcher to the tune of three and six saves, respectively. Bruno and Erica Stauffer were both denied by Fletcher in the early going, who also kept out Jensyn Dandeneau and Ally McCall later in the first half. Just before halftime, Julia Babbitt had Fletcher beaten, but her shot was cleared off the line by the Falcons' Jillian Schultze.
The Owls kept looking for the breakthrough, as Bruno had a shot blocked in the 53rd minute, and the Owls had a goal disallowed with less than 10 minutes to go. Mammone saved Kendal Brown's shot with less than three minutes to play, but with 16 seconds to go, the Owls were awarded a penalty corner. Bruno sent it in, then received the pass from Casi Smith to beat Mammone for her sixth goal of the season and third game winner.
Rachel Loseby made her first career start in the Owls' cage, playing all 70 minutes and making one stop to record the victory.
Watson became the eighth coach to reach the 400 win mark in NCAA Division III history, and the sixth active coach to do it. She's also only the fourth Division III coach to reach the mark while coaching at one institution. Only Enza Steele, the coach at Lynchburg (Va.), since 1979, Jan Trapp, who coached at Messiah College (Pa.) from 1973-2011, and Dawn Chamberlin, who has been Salisbury's (Md.) coach since 1987, have more wins while only working at one institution. By the time Bruno was born in 1999, Watson was in her ninth season at Keene State and had 99 career victories.