KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College women's lacrosse team heads into the LEC tournament as the number four seed at 7-7 overall with a 4-3 conference mark. The Owls will open up postseason play at home tonight with a quarterfinal matchup against fifth seeded Eastern Connecticut at 6:00 p.m.
Keene State is 7-7 overall and 4-3 in the LEC, finishing fourth in the league standings. The Owls take on the Warriors of Eastern Connecticut, who finished the year at 3-14 overall and 2-5 in the LEC as the fifth seed. The other quarterfinal taking place this evening is third-seeded Western Connecticut, who finished the regular season at 13-4 overall and 5-2 in conference, and the sixth-seeded Spartans of Castleton (6-11, 2-5 LEC). Southern Maine earned the first round bye as the number two seed, finishing 9-5 overall and 6-1 in the league. The number one seed and host of the semifinals and final will be Plymouth State, as the Panthers look to repeat as LEC champions with a 9-5 overall mark and a perfect 7-0 LEC record.
KSC is led by Katie Clark in her 11th season at the helm. Clark has amassed a 120-82 overall record since taking the reigns in 2009, winning five conference championships in the process. The Warriors are led by Christine Hutchinson, who is in her 13th season as the head coach at ECSU and is 116-116 overall.
The Owls boast a balanced offense, topped by freshman standout Brigid Casey. Casey leads the team with 50 goals and 22 assists, which puts her fourth overall in the LEC in points with 72. Senior Chelsea Lewis has also enjoyed a fantastic year scoring 38 goals with 10 assists. Lewis' 133 career goals currently rank eighth all-time in KSC history and her 175 points are 10th all time. Sophomore Ali Daisy is third on the team with 45 points. Marina Pappalardo (29 points), Erica Chareth (25 points), Emily Parker (23 points) and Tess Masci (21 points) also have contributed to the steady offense for the Owls.
The Earlier Matchup
The teams met just last week in the regular season finale, with the Owls claiming a 19-9 victory in Mansfield, Conn., giving them the right to host the quarterfinal rematch. Casey led the Owls with four goals, Lewis added two goals and four helpers and Ali Daisy had two goals and three assists. Joanna Steinhauer picked up the win in net with nine saves.
The Rest of the Tournament
The other quarterfinal tonight will take place in Danbury, Connecticut as Western Connecticut hosts Castleton in the 3/6 matchup. The winner of that game will take on Southern Maine up at Plymouth State on Friday, May 3. The Keene State/Eastern Connecticut winner will take on top seeded Plymouth State on the same day starting at 1:00 p.m. The two semifinal winners will compete in the LEC Championship on Saturday, May 4 at PSU.