KEENE, N.H. - Senior Promise Kpee scored two goals in the second half to lead the Keene State men's soccer program to a 2-0 victory over UMass Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon in the final game of the regular season at the Owl Athletic Complex on Senior Day. With the win, the Owls have secured a berth into the Little East Conference (LEC) semifinals and will be seeded fourth.
- Keene State: 7-5-4, 3-2-2 LEC
- UMass Dartmouth: 3-11-1, 2-5-0 LEC
How It Happened
After a scoreless first half, despite the Owls placing five shots on target and 11 overall, Kpee raced out to a long ball and dribbled past multiple UMass Dartmouth defenders in the 54th minute. The forward brought the ball into the box and went one-on-one with the the Corsairs' goalkeeper Danny Andrade, before slotting home his fifth goal of the year into the left corner to give Keene State the one-point advantage. UMass Dartmouth aimed to answer back just 30 seconds later, but Fabio Araujo's chance was stopped by the Owls' goalkeeper Jason Smith. Keene State continued to test the Corsairs' defense in the 65th and 66th minutes, as senior William Salta's shot went wide and freshman Samuel Heidenreich's opportunity was picked up by Andrade.
The Owls were able to double their lead in the 79th minute, after a trip in the box earned the home team a penalty kick. Kpee calmly stepped up to take the strike and converted to put Keene State on top. The Corsairs looked to cut their deficit to one less than a minute later, but Araujo's shot was blocked by an Owl defender. Kpee responded with an attempt to complete a hat-trick in the 85th minute, as the senior fired off a shot into an open goal, but Akere Tambi made an endline save to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Araujo tested Keene State a final time in the 86th minute with one last attempt on target for the Corsairs, but Smith made a diving save to preserve the shutout and seal the win for the Owls at home.
Inside the Box
- Before the game, the 10 members - Kpee, Salta, Smith, Aidan Dean, Jonathan Pena, Conor Leahy, David Villalobos, Riley Steele, Thomas Bartley, and Michael Sancomb - of the class of 2018 were honored for their dedication and commitment to the Keene State men's soccer program. The combined record for the class is 32-31-7 overall and 12-12-4 in LEC play, finishing second in the LEC in 2014.
- Keene State held a dominating 23-13 advantage in shots over UMass Dartmouth, including a 12-6 edge in shots on goal.
- In goal, Smith registered six saves in 85:58 for the Owls, while Sancomb came in relief and did not make a stop. For the Corsairs, Andrade recorded nine saves.
- Salta led Keene State with four shots on goal and 10 overall, while Araujo put four of his six shots on target for UMass Dartmouth.
- With the win and a Plymouth State loss, the Owls will return to the LEC playoffs for the first time since 2014, as the No. 4 seed in the tournament, and will play top-seeded Western Connecticut State.
- Keene State will travel to play at Western Connecticut State on Wednesday, November 1st for the LEC semifinals at time to be determined.
- UMass Dartmouth sees its season come to a close.