Another season, another Little East Conference Championship win.
Keene State College’s field hockey and women’s soccer teams each claimed the Little East Conference title for the second consecutive year.
For the field hockey team, a win over UMass Dartmouth led them to their 10th LEC Championship title in the team’s history. The Owls spent a lot of their preseason working hard to get back to the tournament, fighting their way past some tough teams, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Brittney Cardente, a sophomore for the field hockey team, said that this season has been a long one, but keeping a positive mentality is what kept the team moving forward.
“You have to always ask yourself, ‘how badly do you want it?’” Cardente said. Cardente continued and said having a lot of wins in October lifted the team’s spirits and paved the way to be part of the playoffs.
Senior and team captain, Marisa Lemoine, led the team with two goals in the championship game. Lemoine was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Lemoine is one of three seniors on this season’s team.
She said, “Everyone wanted to be back at the championship game … It was everyone’s goal from the beginning.” The team suffered their first loss on Nov. 12 after not losing a game since Sept. 23. Lemoine said the sport and season is mentally and physically grueling, but that’s what makes it absolutely worth it.
“Everyone played their hearts out and I am happy to be leaving my Keene State College field hockey career that way,” Lemoine said. Along with the field hockey team, KSC’s women’s soccer team also clinched the title win on Saturday after double overtime and a 4-3 penalty shoot out win over UMass Boston.
“It was very emotional. It is such a big deal to win two titles in the short four years that you play,” senior Alex Haley said. This was the first time in KSC women’s soccer history to have won back-to-back titles.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to do this with. It is a nice way to go out your senior year,” Haley said. The team played for a total of 110 minutes, and then after two over times, went to penalty kicks.
Haley noted that she, “can’t do anything more for my team [in the penalty kick situation] … It’s nerve wracking knowing you can’t help your team anymore, but I believed in them and I believed in my goalie, Torrie Crenson.” The team had to keep a strong mentality.
“Any sport you play, it comes down to not just the physical game, but the mental too. We started out slow, trying to adjust to all the new players and they had to adjust to collegiate play,” Haley said. She continued, “We are peaking at the right time and I don’t think anyone is ready to end the season just yet.” KSC plays Middlebury College and Amherst College during the regular season; these two teams make it to the final four most years.
“We can play with them. We are a team who plays up to the other teams’ levels and if all eleven players on the field show up to play and give it their all we will be just fine,” Haley said.
On Saturday, Nov. 15 KSC women’s soccer fell to defending national champions Williams Smith in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
William Smith tallied five goals, three of them being in the first half, while KSC took six shots on goal — none of them successful. The team finish their season with a 13-9-2 record and said goodbye to six graduating seniors.
Mary Curtin can be contacted at email@example.com