Panthers to host E.Conn Saturday on Senior Day
KEENE, N.H. – Keene State College juniors Griffin Meehan and Matt Schairer combined for 11 goals and two assists Wednesday afternoon as the Owls men’s lacrosse team clinched its second consecutive Little East Conference regular season title with an 18-9 victory over in-state rival Plymouth State University on Senior Day at the Owl Athletic Complex.
The Owls improve to 11-2 overall and 6-0 in conference play, while the Panthers drop to 7-6 and 3-3 in league action. KSC, the only undefeated team remaining in the Little East Conference, also clinches home-field advantage and the number one seed in the conference tournament set to begin next Tuesday.
In a tightly contested first quarter that featured 12 goals, the Owls jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Panthers evened the score at five apiece on a goal from sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) that was assisted by senior Andrew Eriksen (Beverly, Mass.) at the 2:41 mark in the first quarter.
KSC scored two goals in the quarter’s final 44 seconds and the first four markers in the second to extend their lead to 11-5 on sophomore Ian Hart’s unassisted strike with 6:12 left in the half.
PSU would cut the lead to five on two different occasions, lastly with 8:32 left in the third quarter on freshman Zach Frank’s (Wakefield, Mass.) tally from Stephen Patch (Newbury, N.H.) to make it 13-8. But the Owls defense shutdown the visiting Panthers offense, allowing no goals in the fourth quarter en route to the victory in their regular season home finale.
Schairer led all players with seven points on six goals and an assist, while Meehan had five goals and an assist of his own. Junior Jonathan Rodrick had a season-high five points on four goals and an assist, while sophomore Taylor Jette had four points on three helpers and a strike. Sophomore Billy Ries scooped up 18 groundballs and was 17-of-23 on the face-offs for the Owls. Freshman midfielder Andrew Fazio picked up a career-high 14 groundballs, while the defensive tandem of Dan Scimone, Al Cuomo and Warren Dill caused two turnovers apiece.
Eriksen led the way for the Panthers with five points on two goals and three assists. Frank and junior Teddy Akrivlellis (Dover, Mass.) each netted two goals apiece in the losing effort.
Sophomore Jason Lesser had another strong performance in net for the Owls, coming up with 15 saves in the win. Panther netminder Kevin Hayes (Beverly, Mass.) finished with 16 saves.
Both teams conclude the regular season with LEC games this Saturday, Keene State traveling to Salem State University and Plymouth State returning home to host Eastern Connecticut State University on Senior Day at Panther Field.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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