Owls pull away from Panthers in second half
KEENE, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team gave top-seeded Keene State College as much as it could handle in the first half Friday afternoon, but the Owls out-scored the Panthers 8-1 in the second half and pulled away to a 19-9 victory in a Little East Conference semifinal game at the Owl Athletic Complex.
Keene State improves to 14-2 overall and advances to Sunday's championship game against second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University. The Warriors had little trouble with sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the other semifinal, 23-4. Keene State and Eastern Conn. will meet for the title Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Keene.
The fourth-seeded Panthers, who wind up the season with a 9-5 overall record, were knocked out of the LEC Tournament in the semifinals for the fourth time in the last five years.
PSU jumped on top 2-0 early and had several leads in the first quarter before the teams were tied at 5-all after 15 minutes of play. After the Owls tallied four unanswered goal to open the second quarter, the Panthers sprung for three of the five goals in the final eight minutes and trailed just 11-8 at the break. Senior Shawn McEvoy (Spring, Texas), senior Ty Long and junior Chris Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.) scored two goals each in the first half for the Panthers.
The second half belonged to the Owls. Sophomore C.J. Frates (Merrimack, N.H.) tallied the only Panther goal with three minutes left in the third quarter that cut KSC's lead to 14-9 after three, but the Owls finished off the win with five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter.
Seniors Taylor Jette (Simsbury, Conn.) and Taylor Wicke (Fairfield, Conn.) led the Owls with five goals apiece, and classmate JT Galloway (Tampa, Fla.) added three goals.
Keene State finished with a 46-34 advantage in shots and a 39-25 margin in ground balls. Freshman goalie Alex Sharp (Winchester, Mass.) finished with eight saves to earn the win for KSC. Freshman Bobby Noonan (Guilford, Conn.) started for PSU and made five saves in the first 41 minutes, and junior Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) made two saves in the final 19 minutes.
-- 30 --