BEVERLY, Mass.--No. 11 Endicott College outscore Keene State College 4-1 in the fourth quarter to eke out a 13-10 win in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Wednesday night.
Keene State, making its fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament, ends its season at 10-7. Endicott improves to 15-4, and will play Tufts University on Saturday in the second round of the tournament.
The Gulls had opened the scoring at the 11:53 mark of the game through Colin Bannon. Keene State responded with goals from Ryan Hart and Tyler Reilly to take a 2-1 lead, only to see Endicott score the final three goals of the first quarter, including the last with just one second remaining from Nick Pinciaro.
KSC responded quickly, as James Dowd won the opening faceoff and raced downfield to set up Tyler McKelvie to score, and 10 seconds later, Robert Hart found the back of the net for the 38th time in 2014.
Joshua Tordik put Endicott back in front with an unassisted goal at the 13:24 mark. Endicott added to the lead when Harrison Cotter scored with a man-advantage, and Tordik scored again, this time with an Endicott player in the box. EC goalie Cameron Bell launched a nearly full length pass downfield, and Tordik beat KSC goalie Dylan Florian for a 7-4 lead. Jeremy Morgan made it 8-4 before Joe Sialiano pulled one back for KSC, leaving the score 8-5 at halftime.
The Owl offense came alive in the third quarter. Kevin Carey scored with 11:27 to play to start the rally, and McKelvie bagged his second of the day to cut the lead to 8-7. Cotter restored Endicott's two goal advantage, but McKelvie and Tyler Reilly scored before the end of the period to set up tense fourth quarter.
Cotter completed his hat-trick to give Endicott the lead for good with 12:08 left in the game, and Jonathan Morgan and Bannon pushed the lead to 12-9. Robert Hart pulled one back for the Owls, but Pinciaro salted away the win with the last goal of the game with 3:15 to play.
Florian made 13 saves for the Owls, who return all but three members of this years squad next season. Bell made 14 stops for Endicott.