May 4, 2014

Keene is Perfect, Downs Warriors in LEC Final

KEENE, N.H. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team managed only one goal over a span of 26 minutes as Keene State College completed a perfect Little East Conference season with a 12-8 victory in the 2014 LEC title game at Owl Complex Sunday.

                                                                                                                     At right: Mike Devine

Top-seeded Keene (10-6) won all seven of its regular-season conference matches and two playoff decisions to dethrone Eastern (11-6) after the Warriors had won the last two championships – defeating Keene both times. The title is the fifth for Keene in the 13-year history of the championship. The Warriors have won eight, six coming against the Owls in the championship match.

Eastern never led Sunday and Keene broke from the only tie of the afternoon with a run of five straight goals which began six minutes into the second quarter and concluded three minutes into the third.

Robert Hart, who led Keene in its 11-6 regular-season win over Eastern with five points, contributed two goals and an assist in that stretch. In all, the hosts scored seven of the game's eight goals in a stretch spanning the second and third quarters. After Eastern senior Mike Jordan (Cheshire) scored an unassisted goal to stop Keene's scoring streak at five, Ryan Hart assists on goals from Bryan Rotatori and Tyler Reilly 67 seconds apart to restore Keene's lead to six, 10-4, with six minutes left in the third quarter.

 Freshman Quincy Pecora (North Haven) won 12 of 21 faceoffs and picked up nine ground ball for Eastern, with senor All-America Mike Devine (Cheshire) striking three times for Eastern, two coming in the final ten minutes that pulled the visitors to within three, 11-8.

Sophomore Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) made nine saves in net for Eastern while sophomore Dylan Florian came up with 14 for the Owls.  After being outshot 24-11 in the first half, Eastern  outshot Keene by 13 over the final 30 minutes including 19-6 in the fourth quarter.