WILLIMANTIC, CONN. - Senior midfielder Williams Salta scored the tying goal on a free kick from the corner of the 18-yard box midway through the second half as the Keene State men's soccer team battled to a 1-1 double-overtime tie against Eastern Connecticut State at Thomas Never Field on Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 6-3-4, 2-1-2 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut State: 7-6-1, 1-3-1 LEC
How It Happened
Eastern Connecticut State's first two chances in the first eight minutes did not require a save, when Nick Starkowski drilled a shot off the cross bar off a corner kick, and JD Stearn's shot in the box deflected off a Keene defender and wide of the left post. The Warriors toke the lead on senior midfielder Xavier Doran's second goal of the season 12 minutes into the second half following sophomore forward Griffin Luczek's free kick, but Keene gained the equalizer nine minutes later when Salta drilled his free kick to the left of the wall and inside the left post.
Salta was Keene's most dominant threat, scoring once at the 67:06 mark and forcing Eastern junior keeper Ryan Murphy to save four of his seven shots.
Keene had two near-misses in the final 13 minutes of regulation. In a tie game with 13 minutes left in regulation, Salta found senior midfielder Riley Steele all alone on the left side of the box, but Steele's bullet banged off the right post. Three minutes later, Keene was awarded a free kick from 25 yards out. Salta unloaded a hard shot that Murphy saved. Keene's rebound shot through traffic struck Eastern's defender David Noel near the goal line and caromed away.
Keene had two legitimate chances early in the second overtime but could not break the tie. Given the last four opportunities of the second overtime, the Warriors could not capitalize, with three free kicks within striking distance and a corner kick producing nothing.
Inside the Box
- Each team had 16 shots and eight corner kicks in the 110 minutes of play.
- Between the pipes, Michael Sancomb was impressive in his first career start for the Owls, as the senior made 10 stops. For the Warriors, Murphy made five saves.
- Keene State's fourth tie this year is the most ties in a season since the 2008 stint.
- The top four teams qualify for the LEC playoffs, which get underway Nov. 1 with semifinal-round games. With two LEC regular-season matches remaining, Eastern is in seventh place in the eight-team conference, with four points. Keene is in third place with eight points, but second-place Rhode Island College has a game in hand and brings nine points into its LEC match at Western Connecticut on Sunday.
- Keene State will host Tufts in a non-conference contest on Wednesday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m.
- Eastern Connecticut State will travel to Trinity on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.
(Portions of this release courtesy of Eastern Connecticut State Athletics)