It isn’t every day that a team gets to have their first game of the season also be the home opener. However, last Saturday, February 22, Keene State’s men’s lacrosse team got to start their season on home turf against the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers.
While the Owls came up short against RPI, ending the game with a loss of 9-12, it was still an exciting home opener with some very notable plays.
The Owls were the first to score with senior midfielder Connor Nolan sinking the ball into the back of the net around the eight minute mark of the first quarter. However, almost immediately the Engineers turned the game around. RPI sophomore attack Cooper Urban scored the first two goals for the Engineers, marking the beginning of RPI’s six-goal scoring streak.
It wasn’t until seven minutes into the second quarter that Owls junior attack Joe Nutting scored, breaking RPI’s scoring streak. Nutting’s goal was followed a minute later by teammate and junior attack Jordan Caito’s own goal, bringing the score to 3-6.
However, RPI then shut down any chance of a comeback with three more goals. Owls senior midfielder Anthony Marcella sunk one more in the back of the net with 19 seconds left in the second quarter, bringing the halftime score up to 4-9.
The third quarter saw an outstanding play from junior midfielder Matthew Lemke, who would win the faceoff and score six seconds later.
Lemke’s goal was followed by another score from Caito and a follow-up score from senior attack Dave Wiedenfeld, bringing the score 7-10.
However, two more goals from the RPI Engineers ruined the Owls’ efforts to take home a win on the home turf. Even with a last-minute score from Wiedenfeld, the final score saw RPI winning 9-12.
Keene State scorers for the game were Connor Nolan with one, Joe Nutting with two, Jordan Caito with two, Anthony Marcella with one, Matthew Lemke with one and Dave Wiedenfeld with two.
The next home game for the Owls will be Friday, March 28 against Eastern Connecticut State University at 1 p.m.
Claire Boughton can be contacted