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Two Titles and Counting

It’s two and counting for Keene State College fall athletic teams. With the season concluding this weekend, the Owls have already clinched two 2003 Little East Conference regular season titles.

Perfect so far in the LEC with a 9-0 mark, the KSC field hockey team (13-5) claimed its title in convincing fashion with an 8-0 shutout victory over UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday. Keene State, which won the first two league titles in 1998 and 1999, has finished behind rival and conference champ Plymouth State the past three years.

“Our goal this season was to bring the tournament back to Keene,” said KSC Coach Amy Watson. “Having home field is a huge advantage for us.”

KSC, which lost just one home game this season (5-1 vs. Williams), will get a first round bye and host a tournament semifinal game on Friday, Nov. 7 at Owl Athletic Complex.

The Owls complete their schedule with home games against Endicott College (Wed.) and Salem State College (Sat).

Owners of a 5-0-1 LEC mark, the Keene State women’s soccer team claimed its second straight regular season championship on Saturday. The combination of the Owls 4-0 victory over Rhode Island College and Plymouth State’s 1-0 upset win against Western Conn. gave KSC the title regardless of Saturday’s finale against UMass-Dartmouth.

“Everybody thought we were going to have a rebuilding season because we lost six starters,” said KSC Coach Denise Lyons. “But several of our freshmen stepped up and we worked hard to bring the tournament back.” Awarded a first- round bye as well, the Owl women open up defense of their LEC tournament title with a semifinal contest on Fri., Nov. 7.

More LEC titles could be on the horizon for the Owls. The Keene State men’s and women’s cross country teams appear locks to win their respective championships at Saturday’s LEC meet at Westfield State College. The men will be in the running for their seventh straight title while the women hope to win their fourth consecutive championship.

The Keene State men’s soccer team (12-5-1, 4-1-1 LEC) moved back into the LEC title picture with back-to-back conference wins over Rhode Island College this past weekend. A victory over UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday and a tie between Plymouth State University and RIC brings the tournament to Keene State.

“Don’t ever count us out,” said KSC Coach Ron Butcher.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435