Second-half Panther rally falls short
KEENE, N.H. – Plymouth State University outscored Keene State College 7-3 in the second half Wednesday afternoon but the Owls held on for a 14-10 victory over the Panthers at the Owl Athletic Complex to clinch its fifth Little East Conference men's lacrosse regular season championship.
Leading 11-3 at the half, the Owls withstood a second-half rally by the Panthers to post the win. Winners of six straight, Keene State improved to 12-2 overall and 6-0 in the LEC and will be the top seed in next week's LEC tournament. Plymouth State dipped to 8-3 overall and 4-2 in the Little East (third place) and saw its two-game winning streak come to an end.
Senior Ian Hart (Richmond, N.H.) scored four goals and classmate Taylor Jette (Simsbury, Conn.) added three goals and three assists for the Owls.
Juniors Chris Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.) and Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) each netted three goals for the Panthers. Senior Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) contributed three assists and sophomore Aaron Boss (Keene, N.H.) and Frank also collected two assists in the game.
Keene State scored the first four goals of the game with freshman Tyler McKelvie (Acton, Mass.) giving the Owls a 4-0 lead at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter. Junior Brett Miller (Windham, N.H.) and Annunciata tallied goals 13 seconds apart to make it 4-2. Jette and Hart scored in the final minutes to give KSC a 6-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After Annunciata scored to open the second quarter, the Owls quickly responded with the next five goals to take an 11-3 halftime lead. Jetted led the uprising with a goal and an assist.
The Panthers came storming back in the second half. A goal by senior Stephen Patch (Newbury, N.H.) capped off a string of three consecutive Panthers goals, cutting Keene State's lead to 13-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Jette picked up his third goal of the game at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 14-7, but PSU scored the last three goals of the game to account for the final score.
Freshman goalie Alex Sharp (Winchester, Mass.) finished the game with 14 saves for KSC. Junior Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) started in goal for the Panthers and made six saves in the first half. Freshman Bobby Noonan (Guilford, Conn.) played the second half and stopped 10 shots.
Both teams wrap up their regular seasons on Saturday. Keene State is at Western Conn. (3 p.m.) and the Panthers travel to UMass Dartmouth (1 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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