DANBURY, Conn. — Ben Bunnell, Joe Nutting and Cooper Cioffi each found the back of the twine three times in the contest as the Keene State men’s lacrosse team opened its 2021 campaign with a convincing 17-5 victory over Western Connecticut State University.

In its first game since March 4, 2020, Keene State (1-0, 1-0 LEC) came out of the gates firing but was held at bay in the first quarter.

Both squads exchanged goals in the opening minutes, and the game was tied at three heading into the second frame.

Just 15 seconds into the second quarter, senior Joe Nutting scored his first of the season. Following Nutting’s goal, KSC scored the next two.

Western Connecticut and Keene State added two late goals with under three minutes to play in the quarter, giving KSC the 7-4 advantage heading into the second half.

Keene State took the commanding lead in the third quarter thanks to six consecutive goals by the Owls.

First collegiate goals from Colby Quiet, Andrew Miller and Ben Wright all but sealed the deal for the Owls in the fourth quarter.

Nutting led all scorers on the afternoon with three goals and two assists while also firing seven shots, six on goal.

Colin Ford (1 G), Miller, (1 G) Cooper Cioffi (3 G) and Quiet (1 G, 2 A) would all credit their first career collegiate points for the Owls on the afternoon.

The goalkeeping tandem of Chase Chamberlin and Alex Fawcett came away with four saves each for the Owls on the afternoon.

Keene State will remain on the road and take on Eastern Connecticut State from Rick McCarthy Field on April 10 at 1 p.m.