After winning the Little East Conference Tournament championship game last weekend against the No. 1 seeded Eastern Connecticut State Warriors, the Keene State College Owls men’s soccer team hosts the first and second round NCAA tournament games this weekend.

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 Owls have been fueled by a balanced attack this season. Junior’s Emmanuel Smith (12 goals, 10 assists, 34 points) and Connor Downey (8 goals, 2 assists, 18 points) have been at the lead for the Owls all season. Standout freshman forward James McCully (6 goals, 1 assist, 13 points) has helped the Owls get into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010. Keene State’s goaltending has been leading the way to victory as Nate Howard (6 games, 3 starts, 0.52 GAA), and Anthony Pasciuto (14 games, 14 starts, 1.64 GAA) have helped the Owls capture their first conference title since 2010.

Ithaca is driven by their leading scorer Theo Scott (7 goals, 1 assist, 15 points). The Bombers have tremendous scoring depth which includes 15 different goal scorers on their roster. Senior goalkeeper Max Lichtenstein has played in and started in all 19 games for the Bombers this season, accumulating 62 saves with a GAA of 0.72. Lichtenstein has shut out his opponent in eight out of his 12 wins.


The two advancing teams from Saturday’s games will play on Sunday at 3 p.m.