Panthers fall in semis for third straight year
KEENE, N.H. – Freshman Tyler Reilly scored nine goals, one short of the school record for a game, as the top-seeded Keene State College men's lacrosse team cruised to a 20-6 win over fifth-seeded Plymouth State University in the semifinals of the Little East Conference tournament Friday at Owl Athletic Complex.
The Owls (9-6), who have won eight consecutive games, advance to the title game for the sixth consecutive year. KSC won tournament titles in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011, and was runner-up six other times, including the past two years.
Plymouth State, which posted a first-round upset victory Tuesday for the third straight year, sees its season come to an end with a record of 9-6.
The Owls scored the first eight goals of the game, six coming in the first quarter. KSC was on the board 20 seconds into the game on Ryan Hart's unassisted goal, then set up Kevin Carey for KSC's second. The rest of the quarter was a tale of two Tylers, as McKelvie set up Reilly with 9:27 left, then scored two of his own, followed by another from Reilly with 1:37 to send KSC out of the first quarter up 6-0.
Reilly bagged the first two of the second quarter before Plymouth State got on the board with two goals 30 seconds apart. Freshman Nick Pino (North Andover, Mass.) ended the shutout, and junior Nick Morello (North Billerica, Mass.) pulled the Panthers within 8-2 with 10:04 left in the half. McKelvie and Reilly each scored again to give the Owls a 10-2 lead at halftime.
Plymouth State struck first in the second half by freshman Nicco Sorrentino (Chelmsford, Mass.), but could not get closer the rest of the way. The Owls expanded their lead to 20-6 on Brooks Billingham's goal with 3:22 left in the fourth quarter.
Dylan Florian made 10 stops in net for KSC, while Plymouth State counterpart Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) made seven saves. The Owls kept PSU's scoring leader, senior Chris Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.), scoreless.
McKelvie finished with five goals and two assists, boosting him over the 50 goal mark for the season. Robert Hart finished with two goals and three assists.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
-- 30 --