WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Led by six goals and one assist from senior Jon Nassif, the Keene State men's lacrosse team raced past Eastern Connecticut State, 24-13, in the Little East Conference (LEC) opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
- Keene State: 4-4, 1-0 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut State: 4-5, 0-1 LEC
How It Happened
The Owls grabbed a quick lead as sophomore Anthony Marcella scored just 36 seconds into the game, before the Warriors answered back with a strike to even it up at one with 13:04 on the clock. Neither team would score for just under five minutes until Marcella found an open senior Paul Beling, who sparked a five-goal run for Keene State to close out the first stanza with a 6-1 lead over Eastern Connecticut State.
The Warriors were able to break through with the opening goal of the second quarter, before the Owls rattled off three straight goals to push its lead to seven with 8:50 to go. Eastern Connecticut State responded with a three-goal spurt to cut its deficit to four, but Nassif connected with sophomore Dave Wiedenfeld to bring Keene State into double-digit scoring, before sophomore Connor Nolan and senior Hunter Arnold found the back of the net to give the Owls a 12-5 lead at the break.
Keene State scored the first four goals of the third quarter to take a 16-5 lead, but Eastern Connecticut State was able to stop the run as Brett Chin connected with Connor Wyllie. Behind two goals from Arnold and one from Beling, the Owls would extend their advantage over the Warriors to 19-6 at the end of three periods.
During the fourth stanza, Eastern Connecticut State would produce its best offense of the afternoon by outscoring Keene State 7-5, yet freshman Michael Schenk would score the final goal with 1:18 to go to push Keene State's lead to 24-13.
Inside the Crease
- Along with Nassif's seven-point performance, Arnold added four goals and three assists, while Wiedenfeld registered one goal and six assists. Freshman Matthew Lemke picked up six ground balls and was 11-of-20 from the face-off "x".
- Samuel Watson led the way for the Warriors with four goals and one assist, while Harrison Urda recorded two goals and four goals. Connor Hillemeir grabbed seven ground balls and went 15-of-25 from the face-off "x", as Ralph Criscuolo had five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
- Senior Mathew Howe made two stops in 42:51 for Keene State in net, followed by two saves from sophomore J.J. Tinney. For Eastern Connecticut State, Chris Gorman stopped 11 in 35:40, before Taylor Huta recorded seven saves in relief.
- The Owls have now won 11-straight victories over the Warriors.
- Keene State owned a 67-25 shot advantage over 60 minutes of play and held a slight 35-33 edge in ground balls over Eastern Connecticut State.
- The Owls are looking for their sixth-straight perfect LEC regular season conference record, as the victory today extends their win-streak to 41 games.
- Keene State will have a week until their next contest, when the Owls welcome UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, April 7th for a 1:00 p.m. LEC matchup.