WILLIMANTIC, CONN. 5/2/09 - The seconded seeded Keene State College men's lacrosse team lost to top seed Eastern Conn. State University 12-8 in the championship game of the Little East Conference Tournament played in Willimantic, Conn. on Saturday.
It was the sixth conference crown for the Warriors (14-3), who earn the LEC's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. Keene State, which concludes its season with a 9-4 record, has faced ECSU in the finals six out of the past seven years. The Owl won LEC titles in 2005 and 2007.
"I thought we played a pretty decent game," said KSC Coach Mark Theriault, "We had a couple of lapses in the game, that with a couple of transition goals, was the difference."
"The six seniors are disappointed, but we made it to the finals and had a great season," he said.
The two teams trade goals in the first quarter with sophomore Michael Araujo (Southborough, Mass.) scoring for the Owls.
Freshman Griffin Meehan (Simsbury, Conn.) and senior Tony Santa Fe (Derry, N.H.) scored goals to open the second quarter giving KSC a 3-1.
The Warriors responded with four consecutive goals, two from Maxim Fantl, to take a 7-4 halftime lead.
Coming out of the break junior Dax Greene (Westborough, Mass.) and Santa Fe scored to cut the Warriors' lead to 7-6. After Brendan Hoppey scored, senior Casey Brodersen (Derry, N.H.) found the back of the net to make it a one goal game at 8-7.
Eastern Conn scored one more time in the closing seconds of the third quarter and tallied the first two goals of the fourth quarter to make it an 11-7 game. Senior Rodney Araganese (Trumbull, Conn.) scored a man-up goal with 5:09 to play to make it 11-8, but KSC got no closer.
Brodersen and Santa Fe each had two goals for the Owls. Meehan, KSC's top scorer, was held to one goal. Arganese, Arajujo, and Greene round out the goal scored for the Owls.
Matthew Savage had five goals to lead the Warriors.
Sophomore Alec Corliss (Waltham, Mass.) finished the game with nine saves for the Owls. Kyle Savage stopped 12 shots for ECSU.