CASTLETON, Vt. - The Keene State College field hockey team got two goals from Kelsey Roberts and advanced to the championship of the Little East Conference Tournament for the eighth consecutive year, defeating the University of Southern Maine 3-1 on Friday night at Dave Wolk Stadium on the campus of Castleton University.
- Keene State: 16-6
- Southern Maine: 13-8
How It Happened
The Huskies began the game on the attack as they registered the first four shots of the contest within the first six minutes of play. KSC keeper Rachel Loseby made a pair of saves during the span to keep the game scoreless. Keene State had a major chance when they were awarded a penalty stroke at 27:50, but Kayla Klein's offering hit the post. The Owls got on the board shortly thereafter when Kelsey Roberts accepted a feed from Julia Babbitt and converted for her fifth tally of the campaign in the 33rd minute. Keene State then turned to a familiar source to take a 2-0 lead into the break as the conference's leading scorer, Nina Bruno, scored her 30th goal of the year at 34:20. KSC scored twice in 1:58 to break open what had been a scoreless contest. The Owls surrendered four USM shots in the first 5:32, but then had the final 11 of the half.
The Huskies cut the deficit to one about 13 minutes into the second half when Maggie Redman deflected a shot from Kerigan Demers for her sixth tally of the season. Trailing 2-1, Southern Maine then searched for the equalizer, but Demers was denied by Loseby twice in the ensuing five minutes. Keene State clamped down from there, only allowing USM two shots in the final 17 minutes, neither of which were on target. The Owls added insurance in the late going with Roberts' second goal of the game on a rebound in front at 63:38. Abbie Staples took three Husky corners in the final minutes, but USM's shot with 36 seconds remaining was blocked as KSC won 3-1.
Loseby (15-6) made six saves in the victory for Keene State, while USM's Lindsay Pych (8-6) took the loss, allowing both first half goals while making five saves. McKenzie Cormier turned aside five shots in the second half and surrendered one goal in relief of Pych.
- Keene State shook off a slow start to outshoot Southern Maine 20-14 (13-7 on goal). KSC had all four penalty corners in the first half before USM took all seven after the break.
- Bruno's 30 goals mark just the third time in program history that a player has reached that plateau in a single season. She has 121 points in 44 career games.
- Roberts' first career multi-goal game helped her establish a new career-high for goals in a season. She has scored three times in the LEC Tournament.
- The Owls have won 30 of 39 all-time meetings.
- Keene State will look for their sixth consecutive Little East title tomorrow, November 3, when they take on Castleton University at 1:00 pm. The Spartans, who earned the top seed in their first year in the conference, defeated Keene State 5-4 in double overtime on October 27. KSC has won titles in 1998-99, 2004-2008, 2011, and 2013-2017. They have never won six in a row.
- Southern Maine's season comes to an end, though they did notch their first winning season since 2007.
(Portions of this release courtesy Castleton University)