The Keene State College men’s lacrosse team has won their first two Little East Conference games of the season by a score of 18-5 and 23-10 respectively.
After two victories over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Western Connecticut State University, the Owls are staying positive about the remainder of their season.
“We set high goals for this program every year,” Alex Terry, a midfielder on the team, said. After several games against some of the top teams in the nation, the Owls say they are prepared for the challenging road ahead.
Matt Gunst is a defender for the Owls. Gunst said he believes part of the team’s success can be attributed to their tough schedule at the beginning of the year.
“Going up against teams such as Tufts, the defending Division III National Champions, it was a challenge and can show that we can play with these teams,” Gunst said. Last season, the Owls were champions of the Little East Conference. This year they are aiming for the same outcome. “Ultimately, to win an LEC Championship, and then move onto the NCAA tournament to push for a national championship,” Gunst stated when asked about the team’s goals for this season.
According to Tyler McKelvie, an attackman for the Owls, the core of the starting unit of last year’s team is partially to thank for the success thus far.
“There are a few reasons that we have been successful this season,” McKelvie stated. “We had most of our starting unit come back that played together last year and allowed us to pick up right where we left off.”
The Owls are also putting in work during practice to ensure they play to the best of their abilities when game day comes around.
“As a team, we work on the basic things like throwing and catching to limit our mistakes in games, which helps us win,” McKelvie stated.
“There’s always something to work on,” Terry stated. “I think it’s best to evaluate each practice going into a game to see what needs to be changed or could use work.” Despite their success so far this season, the Owls are not getting too far ahead of themselves, according to Terry, and know there is always room to improve.
“It is important to stay on the path and not look ahead,” Terry said.
While the team has been successful so far, it is important to maintain this success as they m
ove forward. One tough loss can throw a team’s season out the window if the right attitude and work ethic are not held by the players as the season progresses.
Terry stated that he believes staying focused is going to be an important challenge for the Owls down the road. “Like any sport, confidence is what truly drives you,” Terry said. “If a team wants to be great they have to be on the same page to achieve the goals that are being pursued.”
Gunst also stated that he believes focus is key to the team’s success, stating that staying focused and listening to their coaches will keep the Owls ahead of their opponents moving forward.
While long-term goals are important to keep in mind, the Owls say they are doing their best to take the season one game at a time.
McKelvie stated, “The goal is to play as perfectly as we can every game to give ourselves the best chance of winning.” This past Saturday, April 11, the Owls faced Eastern Connecticut, one of their rivals and won 12 to 7.
Ed Messer can be contacted at email@example.com