KEENE, N.H. - The regionally ranked Keene State Owls men's soccer team will square off against Rhode Island College on Friday night at Dr. Ron Butcher Field looking to secure a spot in the Little East Conference tournament championship game on Sunday. The Owls and Anchormen will kick off at 7:00 p.m. KSC is looking for their first LEC title since 2010 and seventh overall.
Keene State will play Friday's game with a 13-6 record, tallying 6-2 in the LEC for the second consecutive season. The Owls finished as the #2 seed in the LEC playoffs. KSC will host Rhode Island College who finished the season 9-6-2, with a 5-2-1 conference record. The Anchormen, the #3 seed in the LEC tournament, advanced to the semifinals after defeating the No. 6 seed UMass Dartmouth Corsairs 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Head coach for the Owls Rick Scott comes into the LEC tournament for his third consecutive season, after taking over at the helm of the Owls just six seasons ago. Rhode Island College's head coach John Mello guides his team into the semifinals of the LEC tournament after missing the tournament in 2018. Mello is in the 16th season with the Anchormen.
Keene State leading scorer Emmanuel Smith has led the offense all season long. Smith registered 11 goals and picked up 10 assists on the season, good for a team high 32 points. Junior Connor Downey (8-2-18) and freshman James McCully (6-1-13) have been threats on the field all season long for the Owls. Rhode Island College's newest member to the team, freshman Thomas Aldana (7-4-18) has been at the top of the attack for the Anchormen. Junior Brandon Ramos has the team high in assists, and points on the Anchormen squad (7-5-19). GK Charlie Tashjian has started in 16 out of the Anchormen's 17 games, including the 2-0 win in the quarterfinals over UMass Dartmouth. Tashijan has accumulated 93 saves on the season, while tallying a 1.49 GAA and a .782 save percentage.
Earlier this Season
These two teams met back on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from the newly named Dr. Ron Butcher Field at Keene State College where the Owls were able to take the 3-1 victory. Keene State took the 1-0 lead, but with two seconds left in the first half, Brandon Ramos scored to tie the game heading into half time. The Owls responded with two unanswered goals in the second half, as James McCully and LJ Luster scored for the Owls, giving the Owls the 3-1 victory.
The Rest of the Tournament
In Tuesday's semifinal game, the #4 seed Colonials of Western Connecticut State University defeated #5 seed UMass Boston in penalty kicks, moving on to face their cross-state rivals, the Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University. That game is slated for Friday, November 8, 2019 with a kickoff at 6:00 pm. The #3 seed Anchormen defeated the #6 seed Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday to move into the semifinals to face Keene State. The game will take place at Dr. Ron Butcher Field on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm. The two winners will move on to face one another at a location to be determined. That game will be played on Sunday, November 10, 2019 with a time still to be determined as well.