'KEENE, N.H. 5/5/05 - Top seed Keene State College advanced to the championship game of the Little East Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament with a 15-7 semifinal victory over fifth seed UMass-Boston at Owl Athletic Complex on Thursday.
The Owls (9-4), who extended their winning streak to nine games, will host second seed Eastern Conn. (9-5) in the title game on Saturday (1 p.m.). ECSU defeated third Western Conn. (15-6) in the other semifinal contest. It is the third year in a row KSC has played ECSU for the conference title. The Owls lost both previous finals, including 12-9 last spring.
Senior Meade MacKay (Stratham, N.H.) and Sean Panora (South Windsor, Conn.) had four goals each to lead the Owls while senior attackman Eric Momnie (South Windsor, Conn.) netted two goals to break the KSC career record (153 goals) set by Bob Bonnes (1998-2000).
"It's nice to know I've scored a lot of goal, but it's all about winning and beating Eastern for the championship," said Momnie.
After a slow start, KSC came back from a one goal deficit to take a 4-1 lead after the first quarter. The Owls outscored the Beacons 6-3 in the second quarter to take a 10-4 halftime lead. Panora scored two of his four goals in the second quarter.
"After we settled down I thought we got into the flow of the game," said KSC Coach Mark Theriault. "We have a balanced scoring attack and that was evident again today. That's why we've been so successful."
Peter Lauranzano (Beverly, Mass.), Ryan Hazelton (Chester, N.H.), Travis Pedley (Bow, N.H.), Greg Richard (Nashua, N.H.), and Greg Gonzales (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) also scored single goals for the Owls.
Ryan O'Rourke (Milton, Mass.) scored three goals and Matt Ficarra (Syracuse, N.Y.) had two goals and two assists to lead the Beacons (10-6).
Matt Johnson (Derry, N.H.) had 15 saves and Brad Bishop (Brunswick, Me.) finished with one stop for KSC. Nick Eaton (Rowley, Mass.) had 16 saves for UMB.