The men’s lacrosse team kicked off their season in a game against Western New England University on Feb. 21. The Owls outscored the Bears in the third quarter, leading them to the win, 16-13.

Senior midfielder Tyler Reilly said the game went really well. “Western New England is always a solid team and has become a bit of a rival of ours since I got here [in 2013],” Reilly said.

Tim Smith/ Photo Editor

Tim Smith/ Photo Editor

The team started off a little slow he said, “but we were able to settle in and put the pieces together to start scoring goals. If you look at the stat lines, the spread of scoring was pretty well-distributed, which I think says a lot about the depth and talent of our team and, of course, our entire defense and goalie,” Reilly said.

Matt Howe is a returning goalie, who Reilly talked highly about. “I can’t say enough about the job they did throughout that game. I think our goals are set pretty high this year,” Reilly said.

The Keene State men’s lacrosse team has been putting up big wins the past few years against 20 teams, but have failed to push deep into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament, Reilly said. “So I think our mindset is to get over that hump this year, especially with such a senior-heavy class, but that all starts with winning one game at a time, especially early on this time of year. I think the biggest hump for us to accomplish that is to just stay healthy and consistent on both sides of the ball. It’s a long season and we got to make sure we show up to every practice and game to get better,” he said.

The men traveled to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for a non-conference game on Saturday, Feb. 26. The Owls fell 17-10. Seniors Robert Hart and Bryan Rotatori led the Owls. Hart had a hat trick and Rotatori had two goals, two assists and five ground balls. Junior Frank Bacarella added two and fellow junior Hunter Arnold added one.

The Owls were the first to get on the board with back-to-back goals from Bacarella and Paul Beling before RPI answered back with two goals of their own. Keene State fought back with three straight goals to make it 5-3 in the second quarter. RPI then went on a four-goal streak, pushing past the Owls 7-5.

Shelby Iava can be contacted at siava@kscequinox.com