The Keene State College men’s soccer team is headed to the postseason.
The team clinched a playoff spot in a 8-1 win over Southern Maine on Oct. 1.
KSC took the field and netted the first goal of the game two minutes into the first half on the foot of Riley Steele.
From then on, the squad continued to pile up goals for the rest of the half and finished the first 45 minutes with a 6-0 lead.
The Owls’ regular season closer was what Coach Rick Scott described as a “must-win,” but before the game he was confident that his team would step-up to the challenge. Scott expressed his appreciation for his team’s effort after the game.
“Today we knew we had to come out on fire … We knew we needed this win and they came out — they did the job. They were prepared all the way around to take care of the game today and they did,” Scott said.
Prior to the game’s start, KSC seniors were recognized as a part of the program’s senior game — the last home match of the season. Michael Jacques, a senior on the team, commented on what it meant to end the season with the win and a trip to the postseason.
“It felt really good, especially for it being senior night for me and all of the other ten seniors we’ve got. It felt really good to come in here and finish strong on the season,” Jacques said.
Along with the seniors of the team, underclassmen like Riley Steele, who had two goals and one assist in the match-up, used senior night, along with the game’s stakes, as fuel for Scott’s metaphorical fire.
“From an underclassman standpoint, I feel like we used senior night as a big motivator for the game — especially knowing that if we lost, we probably wouldn’t be in the playoffs. So using senior night, we used it as motivation to play as hard as we can and kick as much butt as we could,” Steele said.
Along with Steele, rookie Promise Kpee scored a pair of goals in the game.
Kpee, a freshman forward-midfielder, led the team with three points in the game.
Steele said that being able to perform so well at the team’s senior night game made the win even better.
“It means a lot to me … It’s senior night, so for us to come out, that start we had, personally it feels great for me … Doing it for the seniors is what really matters to me,” Steele said.
After finishing last year’s campaign with a record of 7-12, the Owls end the 2014 season at 11-6-1 and a seat in the playoffs.
Coach Scott said he believes his team will have a good chance to win the Little East Conference Championship.
“We’re getting healthy, we’re getting guys coming back [from injuries] and everything is going well,“ Scott said.
He continued, “We can win the LEC conference. If we show up to play every day, we’ll win it.”
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org