SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Keene State men's lacrosse program outscored Western New England 6-2 in the third quarter to overcome a haltime deficit, as the Owls earned a 16-13 victory over the Golden Bears on Tuesday afternoon in the 2017 season opener at Golden Bear Stadium.
- Keene State: 1-0, 0-0 LEC
- Western New England: 0-1, 0-0 CCC
How It Happened
Senior midfielder Bryan Rotatori led the Owls with four goals and picked up 10 ground balls, while junior midfielder Hunter Arnold and junior midfielder Frank Bacarella each tallied a hat-trick. Arnold also added a team-high four assists, while Bacarella had three assists. Junior goalkeeper Mat Howe stopped 14 in the win.
Keegan Dudeck led the Golden Bears with three goals and one assist, while Nick Gamba tallied on goal and four assists, as Steven Kerr saved 22 between the pipes.
Western New England came out firing, scoring a goal within the first seven seconds, but the Owls answered with strong defense to hold off the Golden Bears for over nine minutes, before a shot by Dudeck found the back of the net. Rotatori tallied the first goal for the Owls off of a pass from Frank Barcarella, as Keene State trailed 3-1 after the opening 15 minutes.
The Golden Bears found another early goal in the second to push a three goal lead, before the Owls fired off with a 3-0 run, powered by two goals from Rob Hart and one tally from Hunter Arnold, to tie it up at four apiece with 6:54 remaining in the second. After Western New England regained a one goal lead with less than five minutes to go, back to back shots from Rotatori and Beling pressured the Golden Bears' keeper Kerr, but the Owls were unable to convert until Tyler Reilly put the ball past Kerr with 2:23 on the clock to even the score at five. Western New England capped off the quarter with two goals to earn a 7-5 advantage at the half.
The Owls ignited offensively in the third quarter to outscore the Golden Bears 6-2, beginning with a goal from Rotatori with 11:32 on the clock to cut their deficit to one. Keene State trailed 8-6 after Nicholas Beauchamp's goal with 9:05 remaining in the third quarter, but the Owls seized the momentum with a 5-0 run over the next seven minutes that featured two goals from Rotatori and one from Arnold. Gamba got one back for the Golden Bears with 1:08 on the clock, but Western New England trailed 11-9 heading into the final frame.
Arnold completed his hat trick 40 seconds into the fourth quarter, before assisting on Keene State's next two goals as the Owls built a commanding 14-9 lead with 11:24 remaining. The two teams traded goals for the remainder of the time, with the Owls finishing on top 16-13.
Inside the Crease
- The two teams hold an all-time series of 3-2, while the Owls hold the advantage.
- Keene State outshot Western New England 55-43.
- The Owls were successful on 14-of-17 clear attempts.
- Keene State will travel to RPI on Saturday, February 25th for a 1:00 p.m. matchup.
- Western New England will have a break before it heads to St. Lawrence on March 4th for a 1:00 p.m. tilt.
(Portions of this release courtesy of Western New England University)