'KEENE, N.H. 5/9/05 - Keene State College will host Endicott College in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship at Owl Athletic Complex on Wednesday (4 p.m.).
The winner of Wednesday's play-in game will travel to Middlebury College where they will face the NESCAC champs on Saturday (2 p.m.).
Keene State (10-4) captured its first-ever Little East Conference title with a 11-4 victory over four-time champ Eastern Conn. last Saturday. Endicott (14-3) won its second consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference championship with a 16-4 win against Gordon College.
Keene State will be facing Endicott for the fourth time. The two teams met in the semifinals of the 2003 ECAC Tournament with the Gulls edging the Owls 13-12. Since then, KSC and Endicott have split two regular-season games with KSC prevailing in 2004 (15-7) and Endicott coming out on top earlier this season by the same score.
KSC Coach Mark Theriault was surprised that his team received a home game. "We've had some battles with them over the years, so having home field should be an advantage for us," he said. "It's going to be a tough game, but there's no question in my mind that we can win this game."
A veteran team with nine seniors, Keene State is led by senior attackman Eric Momnie (South Windsor, Conn.) (47-15-62), senior midfielder Meade MacKay (Stratham, N.H.) (20-32-52), and freshman goalie Matt Johnson (Derry, N.H.) (7.65 GAA). The Gulls are led by the high scoring trio of Kevin Lally (19-69-88), Burt Fahey (64-23-87), and Sam Chidester (42-15-57).
Only 17 teams out of 150 in the country advance to the NCAA Tournament. This year's NCAA finalists will advance to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Lincoln Financial Field for the championship game, which will be played at noon, May 29, and televised live by College Sports Television (CSTV).