Administrative Executive Editor
With two Little East Conference Championships, two more conference tournament finals appearances and not a single team missing the post season, Keene State College fall athletics turns it up for the final stretch of the season.
The KSC men’s and women’s cross country teams shined brightest this year, both bringing home hardware this season. The women’s team claimed their thirteenth straight LEC title, proving to be one of KSC’s most consistent athletic programs.
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The field hockey and volleyball teams both made deep runs in their respective conference tournaments.
Both teams had similar outlooks coming into the year.
The field hockey team claimed the LEC title and won their first round match-up in the NCAA tournament last year, capping one of their best season in the programs’ history.
However, they graduated six critical seniors from the team, and had the possibility of a down year.
Yet the team seemed to pump out good players, and just seamlessly plug them into their line-up. The team went 15-8 this year, a solid record, but was actually a little misleading to how good they were. Four of those losses came to teams from the North East Small College Athletic Conference, a conference known for its talent in field hockey.
The team powered through the LEC with a 9-2 conference record, losing only to Bridgewater State and UMass-Dartmouth, the second and first seeds in the conference tournament.
So the team didn’t actually lose to a bad team this season. They were even able to defeat Bridgewater State in the tournament semi-finals. E
xpect a deep run from this squad as they take on the Eastern College Athletic Conference regional tournament.
Similarly, the volleyball team graduated six seniors of their own, including several staples of the program for years. This year’s team featured no seniors, one junior, and a bevy of freshmen and sophomores who now had to make significant contributions for the team to be anywhere near decent. Amazingly without any real veteran leadership the team went 19-16 during the season.
However, the team was 5-2 in the LEC, which seeded them third in the conference tournament. Like the field hockey team, the KSC Volleyball team was able to upset the second seed in the tournament, Western Connecticut State, and advanced to the finals.
The group may have fallen short of a conference title, but they were able to put together a great post-season run with such a young team that looks poised to only get better as this young core grows together over the rest of their college careers.
The women’s soccer team also had to rely on young talent, with only three seniors on their roster this year. The team took a step back this year, coming off a year when the team went 7-0 in the LEC, the Owls only went 4-3 in the conference and 12-9-1 overall.
The team failed to reach the conference tournament finals, but given their past track record expect at least two wins from the Owls as they take on the ECAC tournament.
The men’s soccer team had a similar fate this post-season falling in the opening round to the Corsairs of UMass-Dartmouth. The Owls entered the tournament 5-1-1 in the LEC and the second seed in the conference and having tied the tournament’s top seed, Eastern Connecticut State, the Owls seemed prepared for a rematch with the Warriors and a fight for the title.
The teams’ season ended on that sad note though, as the team decided to forgo the ECAC tournament unlike other fall sports.
The cross country teams will be looking forward to sending runners to compete at the NCAA regional meet, and hopefully at least one runner to the national meet. Meanwhile the remaining fall sports will hopefully bring home some hardware from the ECAC tournament like they have in years past to send themselves out on a high note.
Ryan Glavey can be contacted at email@example.com