KEENE, N.H. – Led by a balanced attack the Owls of Keene State College ended lacrosse's historic season as they defeated the Beacons by the final of 28-11 in the 2017 Little East Conference Tournament championship game Saturday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.
UMass Boston 11, Keene State College 28
UMass Boston (9-8)
Keene State College (14-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With Saturday's win, Keene State earned the Little East Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins next weekend. The Beacons closed out their historic campaign as they made their first appearance in the conference title game since 2001. The Beacons, who were the two-seed, won five straight coming into Saturday's contest.
Keene State controlled the pace of play for most of the afternoon, as they quickly jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first quarter. From there, the Owls would tack on seven more goals in the second, before closing out the final two frames with five goals in each.
The Beacons, had their best showing in the fourth as the rattled off six goals over the final 15 minutes. Clay Arnold (Syracuse, N.Y.) led UMB with five goals and three assists, while senior Calvin Lee (Hopkinton, Mass.) ended his career with three goals and two assists.
Rob Hart was the go-to playmakers for the Owls in Saturday's title win, as he scored six times to go along with two assists. Hunter Arnold finished with five goals and two assists.
Greg Shawinsky led the way at the face-off "X" as he went 16-for-28, while Nick Morin finished 10-for-13. Matt Murphy (Watertown, Mass.) took all 43 face-offs for the Beacons and collected 17 wins. Jack Dillon (Barrington, R.I.) caused a team leading six turnovers to go along with 10 ground balls.
Alex Surette (Melrose, Mass.) recorded a career-high 19 saves, including nine in the second quarter. Nick Passalugo (Barnstable, Mass.) finished with three stops over the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Despite the loss, the Beacons can walk away from the 2017 season as they return all but two players for 2018. UMB closed out their year with the highest regular season finish since the LEC sponsored lacrosse in 2001.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Saturday's championship game appearance marked the 9th straight for the Owls
- Keene State entered the contest ranked 23rd in Division III on the most recent USILA Coaches Poll
- Saturday's championship game marked the final in the careers of Lee and Anthony Tortora (Medford, Mass.)
- The Owls held a 60-35 advantage in ground balls and 71-33 advantage in shots
- The Beacons were 8-for-12 on clear attempts, while the Owls finished 9-for-11
- Neither team recorded a man-up goal on a combined 14 attempts respectively