After winning the Little East Conference Tournament championship, the Keene State College men’s soccer team will host the first and second round NCAA tournament games this weekend.
On Sunday, the No. 2 seeded Owls defeated the No. 1 seeded Eastern Connecticut State Warriors, 1-0, to win their seventh LEC Championship. Emmanuel Smith picked up the lone unassisted goal of the contest in the 74th minute, giving the Owls their first crown since 2010.
Most Outstanding Player, goal keeper Nate Howard, came away with five saves on the afternoon, most notably a diving save in the 82nd minute, keeping the 1-0 lead and eventual final score for the Owls.
Eastern Connecticut led the game with 14 shots to the Owls 10 total, and also led the game with four corner kicks, while the Owls took just one total which came in the second half.
The other three teams traveling to Keene this weekend are the Bombers of Ithaca College, the Terriers of Thomas College (Maine) and the Mammoths of Amherst College.
Amherst College and Thomas College will be the first featured game on Saturday on Dr. Ron Butcher Field at 1 p.m., while Keene State will host Ithaca College at 3:30 p.m.
The two advancing teams from Saturday will play on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m.
The Owls will host the 2019 men’s soccer first- and second-round games for the first time since the 2006 season, when York College (Pa.), Eastern Connecticut State University and Williams College visited Keene.
In 2007, the Owls matched up with Ithaca College in the WEGOTSOCCER-Diadora Soccer Showdown, also hosted by Keene State. The Bombers came away with the 4-2 victory over the Owls. Keene State has played Amherst College five times in their program history. The Owls are 2-3 all-time against the Mammoths. The Owls are 6-1 all time against the Terriers of Thomas College.