PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Keene State College is known for their athletic prowess. One of the most successful institutions in the Little East Conference since joining the conference in 1997, the Owls have prided themselves in their athletic success across all of their sports offerings. One of their most dominant programs in recent years has been their men's lacrosse team, which has not lost a regular season conference game in five years.
Keene State men's lacrosse is no stranger to success. Under head coach Mark Theriault, the Owls have been a contender in the Little East Conference. Since taking over the program prior to the 2000 season, Theriault's squads have only posted one losing season, and have been conference tournament champions seven times. But their success has not been more evident than the run the Owls have been on in recent seasons.
Since losing to Eastern Connecticut State on April 7, 2012, the Owls have won 37 consecutive regular season games in the Little East Conference. In that time, the men's lacrosse program has won every regular season conference title since 2013, and has been the tournament champion three years running. During that time they've faced formidable challenges from Eastern Connecticut State, who has faced Keene State in the tournament finals every season since 2009. They defeated Keene in the 2012 and 2013 championship games.
One of the biggest contributors to the team's success on the field was the efforts of Attacker Tyler McKelvie. A native of Acton, Massachusetts, McKelvie would become one of the best players to suit up in the history of Keene State men's lacrosse. During his career from 2013 to 2016, McKelvie set several school records. McKelvie is the all-time leading scorer in school history with 210 goals, and total points with 281. His 63 goals in 2015 is tied for the second most in a single season, while his 79 total points in 2015 ranks at fifth all-time in program history. His efforts garnered him the Offensive Player of the Year awards in the 2014, 15, and 16 seasons, along with the Rookie of the Year Award in 2013. He was also named to the First-Team All-LEC squad in each of his four years at Keene.
Along with McKelvie, the Owls have seen several other records set or tied during their winning streak. In 2016, junior Bryan Rotatori tied the single season mark for assists with 36, and goalie
Mat Howe recording the third most saves in school history with 205. Midfielder James Dowd set a record for ground balls in 2015 with 107, while defenseman Mike Curley and Thomas Jenoski recorded the second most turnovers forced in concurrent years with 22 apiece. Curley and Dowd also hold the career best marks in their respective categories.
The historic competitive success the LEC has achieved throughout the 30 years, beginning as a basketball only conference in 1986 and expanding into today's 19-Championship Sport Conference, will continue to make academic and athletic strides as the LEC continues to be the premier Division III conference of the New England region.
The Little East Conference was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.