The 2006-07 Keene State athletic season was so successful that we could fill several Owl Notebooks. In the interest of brevity, we offer this list of accomplishments and accolades. Kudos to Keene State players, coaches, and staff for having their best season ever as a member of Division III and the Little East Conference.
- Program-best 19th in NACDA cup rankings
- Winner of Little East Commissioner's Trophy for seventh consecutive year
- Three ECAC New England tournament teams (women's soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse)
- Represented in 11 NCAA tournaments; eight teams (men's soccer, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse; and women's basketball, field hockey, softball, and cross country) and three individuals (from men's and women's indoor track and women's outdoor track)
- Five Little East Conference tournament championships (men's soccer and lacrosse and women's cross country, swimming, and field hockey)
- Three LEC regular season champs (men's soccer and lacrosse, and field hockey)
- Eight All-America awards in five sports
- 32 All-New England/Region student athletes
- 144 All-Little East student athletes
- Five LEC players of the year (Tyler Kathan, men's basketball; Sara Joyce, defensive field hockey; Sean Panora, co-offensive men's lacrosse; Matt Johnson, defensive men's lacrosse; and Kristin Degou, rookie, women's basketball)
- Two LEC coaches of the year (Ken Howe, baseball, and Mark Theriault, men's lacrosse)
- Softball coach Charlie Beach posted his 500th career victory.
- Breanne Lucey was named to the district track/cross country Academic All-American team for the second straight year.
- Senior basketball players Bri Barnes, Sarah Begnoche, and David Sontag netted their 1,000th career points.
- Sara Joyce (field hockey) and Matt Johnson (men's lacrosse) topped Division III season save percentage lists in their respective sports.
- Won a combined 16 events, broke 21 KSC records, and set one meet record at the New England Division II-III swimming/diving championships
- Jeremy Schilling (baseball), Joyce (field hockey), and Chris Koenig (men's lacrosse) received KSC male, female, and student Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, at the annual awards dinner.
Keene State to Honor 2003-04 Elite-Eight Men's Basketball Team
Taking a page from the famed tradition of the Boston Celtics, Keene State College will honor its 2003-04 Elite-Eight men's basketball team with a banner ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Spaulding Gym. Players from that memorable team will gather at center court and raise a banner commemorating their special season.
'They exceeded everyone's expectations and set a new standard for the program.'
"I was hoping for a Little East championship and the opportunity to go to the NCAA tournament that year, but this team kept going," said KSC Head Coach Rob Colbert. "They exceeded everyone's expectations and set a new standard for the program."
Keene State played like a team on a mission throughout the 2003-04 season. Setting a program record for wins (25), Keene State put an exclamation point on its season with a come-from-behind victory over rival Plymouth State (79-67) in the LEC tournament finals. By the time they received a first-round bye and hosted a second-round NCAA game against Babson College, the Owls were the talk of the town.
'Every time people enter the gym they will be reminded of that special season.'
Playing in front of a capacity crowd, Keene State rolled to a 79-55 win over Babson. At Williams College for the New England Regional Tournament, the Owls silenced the skeptics by stunning third-ranked University of Rochester 82-79 in a victory that propelled them into the Elite Eight. The memorable season finally ended the following night against the host Ephs (79-64).
The new banner gives players, coaches, and fans the opportunity to relive that season for years to come. "Every time people enter the gym they will be reminded of that special season," said Bennett Pawlusiak, senior co-captain with Alphonse Michalski. "I can't wait to be back on the Spaulding Gym floor and see my teammates."
Keene State has set up a committee to identify and honor other deserving Owl teams. "This will be the first time we've done a ceremony like this," Colbert said. "But I envision us honoring other teams. Keene State has a rich athletic history, and we want to recognize our success."