Senior Sports Reporter
Chippy: That was the word of the day on October 26 when the Keene State College Owls took on the University of Massachusetts-Boston Beacons.
The Owls came into the game ranked fifth in the Little East Conference standings while the Beacons came in ranked second. A win for the Owls would guarantee a move up in the rankings, causing the Owls to be all business going into the face off. Not to mention the Saturday game marked Senior Day for the Owls, causing an even stronger drive for a win.
At the start of the game the three seniors on the team celebrated by walking down an aisle of teammates along the sidelines with their families.
First to walk down the tunnel of players was Donovan Harris.
Harris, midfielder, has had nothing but success in his time at Keene. Harris’s first year had him at seventeen game appearances, fifteen of which were in a starting position. Harris also made his first collegiate goal and assist during his first year. Sophomore year, Harris continue the success with scoring the game winning goal in a double overtime game against UMass-Boston. Harris’s junior year showed him setting a new career high of three assists in the 17 games he played.
Following Harris was LJ Luster.
Luster, also a midfielder, has been making a mark on the team since his first year. Appearing in every game his first year on the team, Luster made two assists during the season-opening game against Fitchburg State. Luster also scored his first collegiate goal that year. Luster’s next season on the team had him making one goal and two assists.
The final senior to walk down the aisle was Dale Dubinsky.
Dubinsky, defenseman, much like his fellow seniors has had an amazing career as an Owl. Dubinsky’s first year saw him take the field 13 times, seven of which were as a starter. Sophomore year Dubinsky was named a member of the Little East Conference All-Academic Team. Dubinsky also scored his first collegiate goal during that season. Junior year Dubinsky started in 14 games and was once again named a member of the LEC All-Academic Team.
After the seniors on the team were recognized, the game began, and boy was it a game.
Only 10 minutes into the game the first goal was scored.
Connor Downey, Owls junior midfielder, sunk the ball into the back of the net off of a pass from Emmanuel Smith, also an Owls junior midfielder, giving Smith the assist.
Two minutes and 21 seconds later, James McCully, Owls freshman forward, scored another goal off yet another pass from Smith, causing Smith to have two assists within the first 15 minutes of game play.
However, the Beacons would come back quickly scoring 34 seconds after McCully scored. The score was made by Nick Fontana, Beacon senior forward, off of a pass from Nilton de Andrade, Beacon junior forward/midfielder.
The first half saw no more scoring with the Owls keeping their lead into halftime.
The first half also saw three yellow cards given, one to Keene’s Dale Dubinsky and two given to UMass-Boston’s Estevao Gomes and Nilton de Andrade. There were also nine fouls called on Keene and 11 called on UMass-Boston.
Coming out of halftime, however, it turned into a completely different game.
Only 10 minutes into the second half, Owls freshman midfielder, Declan Coughlin, was injured in a collision with Yuran Teixeria, Beacons junior defenseman. Coughlin had only been back on the field for two games after being benched from a previous injury. The collision caused a stoppage in game as the trainer examined Coughlin on the field. Only a handful of minutes later, three of Coughlin’s teammates carried him off the field. No penalty came out of the collison.
As the game continued on, Coughlin’s collison became one of many.
Within a two minute portion of the second half alone there was a four person collision between two Keene State players and two UMass-Boston players which ended in Beacon sophomore forward, Yasser El Hasnauoi, going to the sidelines holding his throat.
El Hasnauoi returned to the field seconds later only to be involved in yet another collision, this time with Owls sophomore midfielder, Vance Bates, in which El Hasnauoi fell and grabbed Bates’s arm, causing them both to fall on the ground. The referees gave UMass-Boston the ball after the fall.
Perhaps the most shocking collision to occur in the second half involved Owls junior forward, Ben Musese, who recently returned to the field after suffering injuries involving a bicycle accident.
During minute 14 of the second half, Musese was leading the ball towards the goal when the Beacons goalkeeper, Omar Castro-Dreher, attempted to stop Musese and the ball, in turn driving his knee into Musese’s gut. Musese went down for several seconds while game play continued. No penalty was called.
By the end of the game there total number of fouls called on Keene State sat at 28 while the total fouls called on UMass-Boston sat at 18.
The only scoring that would be seen for the entirety of the game happened within the first 15 minutes of the first half, making the final score Keene State 2, UMass-Boston 1.
With this win, Keene State College now sits fourth in the Little East Conference men’s soccer standings.
The Keene State Owls will face off at Southern Maine on Saturday, November 2. Southern Maine is currently ranked ninth in the Little East Conference. Game starts at noon.
Claire Boughton can be contacted