Skip Navigation

Owl Field Hockey Team in LEC Finals

KEENE, N.H., 11/6/08 - It will be a busy sports weekend at Keene State as the Owls host both Little East Conference field hockey and women’s volleyball championships.

The KSC field hockey team will go up against rival Plymouth State in Saturday’s championship game at noon.

Keene State will host both semifinal and championship matches of the 2008 LEC women’s volleyball tournament at Spaulding Gym. The pairings are all set for the semifinal round on Friday. The top-seeded Owls will face fourth-seeded Western Conn. at 4 p.m., while second-seed UMass-Boston takes on third-seed Eastern Conn. at 6 p.m. The two semifinal winners will advance to Saturday’s championship game at 1 p.m.

Field Hockey
The top seed in the tournament, Keene State enters the championship game with a 17-5 record. The Owls advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over #8 Bridgewater State and a 2-1 overtime victory against #4 Southern Maine.

KSC dodged a bullet and a pesky Husky field hockey team to come away with a 2-1 overtime victory in Thursday’s semifinal game. Sophomore forward Leigh Smith’s rebound goal 1:22 into overtime was the difference. The Owls had numerous corners throughout the game, holding a wide 18-2 advantage, before breaking though with their overtime opportunity. Junior midfielder Erin Dallas gave the Owls an early 1-0 lead with a goal just 57 seconds into the game.

This is the fifth time rivals Keene State and Plymouth State have hooked up in the LEC championship game. The Owls defeated the Panthers in 1998 (3-1), 1999 (1-0), and 2004 (2-0). Plymouth defeated Keene State 1-0 in the 2000 finals.

“Plymouth is on a roll and has been playing well,” said KSC Coach Amy Watson. “They’ve been putting the ball in the net, and we’re just going to have to be sharp and hope we can get the job done again.” Earlier this season, the Owls edged the Panthers 2-1 on a late game goal by sophomore forward Chelsea Blackmer.

Keene State is shooting for its fifth straight LEC championship and seventh overall crown. KSC won the championship the past four years, as well as in 1998 and 1999. The Owls also advanced to the finals in 2003 and 2000. KSC has an all-time record of 21-4 in LEC tournament play.

The second seed in the tournament, Plymouth State brings a 13-6 record into today’s title game. The Panthers advanced to the finals with a 2-1 win over #7 Worcester State and a 4-3 victory over UMass-Dartmouth.

Plymouth State jumped out to a 4-1 lead and then had to hold on for a 4-3 victory over third-seeded UMass-Dartmouth Thursday afternoon. The Panthers captured their eighth straight victory. PSU advances to the LEC Championship game for the first time since 2004. Four different players scored goals for PSU.

PSU will be making its seventh appearance in the LEC championship game. The Panthers won three straight titles from 2000-02, and finished runner-up in 1998, 1999, and 2004. The LEC champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Women’s Volleyball
The Owls (27-8), who earned a first-round bye, will be looking to take their first step toward a first-ever LEC championship on Friday when they face Western Conn.

The fourth seed in the tournament, Western Conn. brings a 19-8 record into Friday’s semifinal match. The Colonials got big plays when they needed them most, taking a 3-1 quarterfinal decision over Plymouth State on Tuesday. Natalie Crosby led the WestConn offense with 17 kills, and Samantha Hathaway handed out a game-high 50 assists.

“Western Conn is a tough team with a very strong middle in Rebecca Stein,” said KSC Coach Bob Weiner. “They look a lot like us with a strong middle and a tall, talented setter. We handled them pretty easily (3-0) back in September, which worries me. They’ve obviously improved, and I’m not sure what they’ll be like. We’re dealing with what we can control, which are us. … We’ll be ready.”

Since joining the LEC in 1997, the Owls have reached the finals just once, falling to Eastern Conn. (3-0) in 2005. KSC is 1-4 in the semifinals, losing to Eastern Conn. in 1998 (3-0), 2006 (3-0), and 2007 (3-2). The Owls also dropped a semifinal match to Western Conn. (3-0) in 2003 and upset rival Plymouth State (3-2) in 2005.

The Colonials captured the LEC Championship from 1999-2003. Last year, the Colonials lost in the finals (3-0) to Eastern Conn. The Owls enter the tournament riding a 10-match winning streak.

Women’s Soccer
The third-seeded Keene State women’s soccer team dropped a 2-0 semifinal game at second-seed Eastern Conn. State on Thursday. The Owls (15-7) will await a possible ECAC New England tournament berth that will be announced on Monday.

Related Stories

Contact Keene State College

229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435