KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College men's lacrosse team battled back from an early 5-2 deficit to beat UMass Dartmouth 18-7. With the win, the Owls advanced to their 11th straight LEC final, which will be held tomorrow, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at the Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 10-5
- UMass Dartmouth: 8-10
How It Happened
The Keene State Owls came out onto the field in their new grey jerseys and scored the first two goals in quick succession. Shane Molloy got the afternoon started when he fired in a goal off a Joe Nutting assist. 30 seconds later, Nutting put one in the back of the net unassisted to give KSC an early 2-0 advantage. UMass Dartmouth came racing back with five straight goals to put KSC in their largest deficit of LEC play this season. Donovan Prozinski rattled one home, before Mike Rizzo and Josh Souza scored two quick goals to give the Corsairs a 3-2 edge. Tim Jordan then scored back to back chances to increase the Corsairs lead to 5-2. Nutting then took a Bobby Carey feed and grabbed a goal back for the Owls, before Shane Molloy and Michael Fritschy rang in goals to tie things up at 5-5 to end the first quarter.
It took only 12 seconds for Keene State to regain the lead in the second quarter, when Bobby Carey grabbed his first of the day off a Dave Wiedenfeld pass. Anthony Marcella then scored a nifty goal off a Joe Nutting feed to increase KSC's lead to 7-5. Mike Rizzo cut the Corsairs deficit to one, before Carey added his second off a Fritschy assist. With just 15 seconds remaining in the half, Nutting completed his hat-trick off another great feed from Wiedenfeld, to give the hosts a 9-6 lead at the break.
The Owls came out of the locker room a different team in the second half, as they rattled off the first five goals of the third quarter to put the game out of reach. At the 12:53 mark, Dave Wiedenfeld took a Shane Molloy pass and buried a shot, before Joe Nutting scored his fourth of the game off a John Morgan helper. Bobby Carey then completed his hat-trick off another beautiful Nutting pass. Widenfeld then scored off an impressive solo effort, before Carey added his fourth off a fantastic run and feed from fellow senior JJ Downey. Sawyer Gibbons stopped the Owls run when he scored with just 19 seconds remaining in the quarter, but the strong KSC offense helped the hosts to a 14-7 edge after three.
The defense tightened up and the fourth quarter was all KSC, as Michael Fritschy finished off a solo effort from distance and John Morgan scored his first goal of the game off a Dave Wiedenfeld feed. Liam Flanagan then finished off another Wiedenfeld pass for his first goal of the evening, before Ben Bunnell added his name to the stat sheet with a solo effort. That capped off the scoring for KSC, as the Owls came away victorious with an 18-7 victory. With the win, the Owls advanced to their 11th straight LEC final.
Inside the Crease
- Joe Nutting led all scorers with four goals and three assists. Bobby Carey added four goals and one helper, while Dave Wiedenfeld added two goals and four assists.
- Shane Molloy and Michael Fritschy both scored two goals with one assist.
- Mike Rizzo led the Corsairs with two goals and an assist, while Tim Jordan scored twice.
- Chase Chamberlin picked up the win in net making six saves, while Ted McCaffrey had 17 saves in the loss.
- Gabe Cormier and Shane Molloy led the Owls with four caused turnovers each.
- The Owls won 18-27 faceoffs and outshot UMass Dartmouth 56-33.
- Keene State heads into the LEC championship game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at the Owl Athletic Complex against the No. 2 seed Plymouth State.
- UMass Dartmouth's season ends with the semi-final loss to Keene State.