KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State men's lacrosse program opened the game with a decisive 7-2 advantage in the first quarter to route to a wire to wire victory, 26-8, over Eastern Connecticut State on Thursday night in the Little East Conference (LEC) Semifinals at the Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 13-3
- Eastern Connecticut State: 8-10
How It Happened
For the Warriors, Matthew Rougeot scored a hat-trick with one assist to lead the way, while Shawn Tierney registered three goals and Samuel Watson chipped in two.
Keene State opened up the contest by scoring quickly, as Nassif found the back of the net in the first minute to get the Owls on the board, before Rougeot found Watson less than 30 seconds later to bring the score even at one with 13:43 remaining in the first quarter. Keene State answered back with five consecutive goals to race out to a 6-1 advantage with 3:37 to go, as the two teams traded goals to close out the first quarter with Keene State on top, 7-2.
Back-and-forth goals began the second quarter to push the score to 9-4, Keene State. Freshman Anthony Marcella followed sophomore JJ Downey's goal with an unassisted goal of his own to give the Owls 10 goals with 11:17 to go in the second quarter. Tierney added one more for the Warriors, before back-to-back goals from senior Tyler Reilly and Nassif extended Keene State's lead to seven at the break.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Owls earned a double-digit lead with a goal from freshman Dave Wiedenfeld with 6:25 remaining, followed by a tally from Hart for a score of 16-5, Keene State. Each team earned two goals apiece to close out the third stanza as the Owls held a 18-7 lead. Keene State capped off the game by outscoring Eastern Connecticut State 8-1 in the fourth quarter to match their regular season win of 26-8.
Inside the Crease
- All four of the Owls' goalkeepers saw time between the pipes, with junior goalkeeper Mat Howe earned the win with eight saves in 46:22 minutes of play. The Warriors' goalkeeper Chris Gorham recorded 15 saves in the loss over 46:38 minutes, before Taylor Huta made five saves in the final minutes of the fourth stanza.
- Sophomores Downey and Steve Hamel picked up six ground balls, while senior Mike Wiedenfeld caused a team-high three turnovers.
- Jesse Schulze was dominant in the faceoff 'x' going 18-of-30, while scooping up a game-high eight ground balls.
- The Owls finished with a commanding 85-27 edge on shots in the game, including a 22-5 lead in the advantage in the decisive first quarter.
- With the win, Keene State extends its current winning streak to 10 straight games.
- No. 1 Keene State advances to their ninth consecutive LEC championship contest, as the Owls are in search of their fourth straight LEC title. The top-seeded Owls will play the second-seeded UMass Boston on Saturday, May 6th at 1:00 p.m.
- No. 4 Eastern Connecticut State sees their season come to a close.