Strong performances across the board help Owls blowout the Seahawks 23-6
The weather was close to freezing for a second straight game, but the Owls Men's Lacrosse team came out sizzling Wednesday against visiting Salve Regina, winning by a final score of 23-6 to improve their season record to a perfect 2-0. The Seahawks fell to 0-4 on the season.
Senior Taylor Jette (Simsbury, CT) got the scoring started with just over 3 minutes passed in the first quarter on a great individual effort to beat the defender and rip a shot into the high corner. Sophomore Ryan Hart (Richmond, N.H.) kept the foot on the gas, burying a goal of his own just over a minute later off a great pass from freshman Tyler McKelvie (Acton, MA).
The Seahawks tried to slow the game down by trying to play a possession game for a bit, and were able to successfully do so for a solid five minute stretch.
At the five-minute mark though, Keene State hit their mark, scoring six more unanswered goals to bring the total to eight in the first half. Jette accounted for three while seniors JT Galloway (Tampa, FL) and Ian Hart (Richmond, N.H.), and junior Tajh Russell (Agawam, MA) each tacked on one of their own.
The Seahawks came out firing in the second quarter though, seemingly ready to put a stop to the Owls' attack. After a quick goal by senior Taylor Wicke (Fairfield, CT) put the Owls up 9-0, Seahawks Juniors Curtis McKeon and Daniel Parks were able to find the net to bring the score to 9-2.
The Seahawks were able to find the net once more before the end of the second quarter, but a halftime score of 14-3 left Salve with much to improve on in the second half.
And improve they did, as they were the first to put one in in the third quarter on a goal by junior Chad Hollenshade off a great cutting pass by senior Taylor Braun.
It was short lived for the Seahawks though, with Ryan Hart, sophomore Brooks Billingham (Plymouth, MA), and Russell all scoring within about two minutes of each other.
Hollenshade and Braun each scored another goal before the end of the third quarter, but the damage had already been done.
Big wins are nice for any program, but Owls Head Coach Mark Theriault said it was especially nice heading into the team's spring trip.
"It was a great win. I saw us improve on a lot of the things we focused on after last game, which is always nice. It's also great to get keep the momentum going heading into the tournament."
Obviously big offensive numbers are nice, but Theriault also said he was excited about the small numbers the defense was able to keep on the opposing team's scoreline, specifically from players who haven't gotten to see the field this season.
"I was excited to get our second and third line guys in for some playing time. They only gave up four goals, and were able to score some of their own, which helps with their growth."
The list of goal scorers was long for the Owls. Jette scored five and assisted on three to pace the Owls attack. Galloway had three, while the Hart brothers, Boucher, Billingham, and Russell each scored two.
McKelvie, while he didn't score one of his own, assisted on a game-high four goals for the Owls.
Owls freshman goalie Alex Sharp (Winchester, MA) got the start after helping the team win Saturday against RPI, and he again played well, allowing three goals in a half of play before being relieved by sophomores Nick Romeo (Salem, MA) and Eric Palmer (Hinesburg, VT).
Hollenshade paced the Seahawks' offense, scoring twice. McKeon had a great all around game, scoring one, assisting on a pair of others, while also collecting a game-high 11 groundballs.
While the numbers are tough to look passed, Seahawks keeper Brian Farina played an outstanding game, saving nine shots, with many of them from point blank range.
The Owls hit the road now for their annual spring break trip and will play Whittier College in Southern California on March 11th.
The Seahawks' next game will be this Saturday as they head to Western New England.
(Photo Credit: Michelle Berthiaume)