Men's Soccer Aiming For First LEC Title Since 2010

Men's Soccer Aiming For First LEC Title Since 2010

KEENE, N.H.--Fresh off their most successful season in several years, the Keene State College men's soccer team will face UMass Boston in the semifinals of the Little East Conference tournament at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at Eastern Connecticut State University.

The Teams

Keene State is 12-5 overall, with a 6-2 mark in the LEC.   The Owls will be seeded No. 2 and have received a bye into the semifinals.   UMass Boston is 9-9-2, and 5-1-2 in the LEC, and advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 win over the No. 6 seed Southern Maine on Tuesday night.

The Coaches

KSC coach Rick Scott is in his fifth season on the sidelines after several years as the Owls' top assistant coach.   Scott has a 44-36-8 record and led the Owls to the LEC tournament final in 2014.  UMB coach Jake Beverlin is in his sixth season with the Beacons and won three straight LEC tournaments from 2014-16.

The Leaders

The Owls boast a balanced offense, topped by sophomore midfielder Emmanuel Smith (6-4-16).  Sophomore midfielder Connor Downey (4-6-14) and freshman midfielder Wesley McIntosh (5-1-11) are also threats, with six game winning goals between the three of them.  In net, freshman Anthony Pasciuto is the established starter with a miniscule 0.67 goals against average and an .829 save percentage, with five shutouts.  UMass Boston is led by the tandem of sophomore forward Julia DaSilva (7-2-16) and junior forward Raffi DeSouza (4-3-11).  Eric Murakami (4-2-10) is also amongst the Beacons' top scorers.  Junior Omar Castro-Dreher has started 18 games with a 1.25 goals against average and a .755 save percentage. 

The Earlier Matchup

The teams met just last week in the regular season finale, with the Beacons taking a 2-1 overtime win.  Keene State led 1-0 with five minutes left in regulation, but the Beacons were awarded a penalty kick that tied the game before winning the contest less than two minutes into overtime. 

The Rest of the Tournament

In Tuesday's other semifinal, defending champion and No. 4 seed Western Connecticut State edged out No. 5 seed Castleton University 1-0, getting the winner with just three ticks left on the clock in the first overtime.  The Colonials will face top seed and host Eastern Connecticut State at 11 a.m. in the first semifinal.  The two semifinal winners will meet at noon on Sunday, November 4.