Keene State Set To Induct Four Individuals, One Team In 2019 Hall of Fame Class

Keene State Set To Induct Four Individuals, One Team In 2019 Hall of Fame Class

KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College Department of Athletics and Recreation is pleased to announce the next class of inductees to the KSC Athletics Alumni Hall of Fame.   The accomplished group of inductees includes four individuals and one team.   The inductions will take place in the Mabel Brown Room on Friday, September 20, 2019 as part of the College's Reunion ceremonies.

"We are truly excited about this year's induction class," said Dr. Denisha Henricks, Interim Director of Athletic and Recreation. "It is a real honor to welcome our fellow Owls back home to celebrate their successes as student-athletes. Their legacy lives on with our current student-athletes."

"This is an outstanding class to go into the KSC Athletics Alumni Hall of Fame.   They are national champions, All-Americas, and more, and have brought distinction to Keene State on a local, regional, and national level," said Abe Osheyack, Assistant Director of Athletics and Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee.   "My thanks to the committee for their work over the previous few months in choosing this class."

Tickets for the induction ceremony will be $60 for adults and $25 for children.  Ticket sales will begin on April 1.

Jennifer Adams '08, Cross Country and Track and Field

A 10-time All-American and two-time national champion, Adams is one of the most decorated runners in school history.   Adams led the Owls to four Little East Conference championships in cross country from 2004-07, as well as the LEC title in track and field in 2008.  As a sophomore in 2006, she was part of the distance medley relay team that won the NCAA Division III national championship, and won the 5,000 meter national championship as a senior in 2008.  During her senior year, she was named Little East Conference Runner of the Year for all three sports and earned Keene State's Female Athlete of the Year Award.      

Her times in the 5,000-meter run were the best in the nation heading into indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships that season.  In 2007, after winning the New England Regional Cross Country meet, Adams was named New England Cross Country Runner of the Year and was New England Regional Track and Field Athlete of the Year.   She earned All-America honors in each of her final three years of her career at KSC, in cross country as a sophomore (2005) and senior (2007), as well as in the 10,000 meters (2006-08), 800 meters (2007), 5,000 meters (2007, 2008), distance medley relay (2006, 2008).   Adams still holds the school record in the 5,000 meters at 16:46.32.

Brittany O'Bryant '08, Volleyball

Arguably the greatest volleyball athlete in school history, O'Bryant holds a host of school records and led the Owls to a historic first Little East Conference championship in 2008.  O'Bryant is KSC's all-time leader in kills (1.641) and attacks (4,221), and is second in both solo blocks (211) and block assists (214), while her combined block total (425) is also a school record.   She was named Second Team All-LEC as a sophomore in 2006, before earning First Team All-Conference honors as both a junior and senior in 2007 and 2008, respectively.  Her sophomore year, the Owls qualified for the ECAC tournament, before a junior season that saw them win the LEC regular season championship for the first time ever, finishing undefeated through the conference slate.   

Her senior year of 2008 saw the Owls break through for their first ever LEC tournament championship.   After winning their second consecutive LEC regular season crown, the Owls toppled Western Connecticut State in the semifinals to face UMass Boston in the final.   Tied 2-2 heading into the decisive fifth set, O'Bryant rallied the Owls from a 7-1 deficit for a stunning 17-15 come-from-behind win that sent KSC to the NCAA tournament for the very first time.  The Owls set a school record for wins with 29, as well as fewest losses (9), and also set what was the school record for consecutive wins with 12, a mark that stood until the 2017 team won its first 15 games of the season.  

Bryan Kolacz '11, Track and Field

A national champion and three time All-American, Kolacz is the greatest male field athlete in the storied history of Keene State College track and field.   The holder of the school record in the weight, discus, and hammer, Kolacz was the LEC Rookie Field Athlete of the Year in 2008 in both indoor and outdoor track, and was a three time LEC Field Athlete of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011) in both indoor and outdoor seasons. 

Indoors, he was a three-time LEC champion in the shot put (2008, 2009, 2011), and a four time LEC champion in the weight (2008-11).  Outdoors, he was a four time conference champion in the discus (2008-11), as well as a three-time champion in the hammer (2008, 2010, 2011), where his hammer throw of 198'-1" is still an LEC championship record.  He also won the LEC outdoor championship in the shot put in 2008, 2010, and 2011.

He earned All-America honors in the hammer as national champion in 2009, as well as in the weight and hammer in 2010 and the weight in 2011.

Matt Johnson '08, Men's Lacrosse

An outstanding goalie, Johnson was the backstop for the Owls as they began their ascent to the top of the Little East Conference.  The school record holder for saves (699), save percentage (.644), goals against average (7.03), and wins by a goalie (46), Johnson was the Little East Conference Rookie of the Year in 2005, and the LEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and a four-time All-LEC First Team selection (2005-08), while earning Honorable Mention All-America honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association in 2007. 

As a freshman, Johnson was the starting goalie for the KSC team that won their first ever LEC regular season and tournament championships, and ensuing NCAA berth in 2005. His sophomore year, the Owls defeated Wheaton College for the first ECAC championship in school history, and his junior year, the Owls set a school record for wins and consecutive wins (both 16), winning the LEC regular season and tournament titles for a second team and recording the programs' first ever NCAA tournament win over Merchant Marine Academy in 2007, a game where Johnson made 23 saves, which was a school record that stood for nine years.   

1983 Men's Soccer Team

The first ever Keene State soccer team to qualify for the NCAA tournament, the 1983 soccer team finished with a record of 14-2-3, scoring 58 goals while only giving up 14.   The Owls had just joined the NCAA a year earlier after being a member of the NAIA since 1970.

Keene State was led by the offensive triumvirate of Chris Pangalos (12 goals, eight assists, 32 points), Mike Burdick (12-2-26) and Sean Kenny (5-9-19), while goalkeeper Keith Brown posted 10 shutouts, a mark that still stands as the fourth highest single season total in school history.   Kenny and John McCully were both named All-Americans and chosen to play in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League Senior All-Star Game that season. 

A powerhouse from start to finish, the Owls opened the season with a 3-0 win over Dowling, followed by a tie against Davis and Elkins and a loss to Southern Connecticut.  After wins over Southern Maine and Franklin Pierce, the Owls were handed a 2-0 setback by Plymouth State - the last defeat they would suffer for a long time.  KSC got back on track with a 5-0 thumping of Castleton State, followed by a 1-1 draw with New Hampshire.  KSC rattled off four straight wins, with victories over Southern New Hampshire, Gordon, Stonehill, and Bridgeport, before a scoreless tie with UMass Lowell.   

That set the table for six more wins in a row, starting with a 6-1 win over Central Connecticut, as well as wins over Sacred Heart, Saint Michael's, Western New England, MCLA, and a 3-2, overtime win over Quinnipiac.  

The Owls made their debut in the NCAA tournament, falling to the University of New Haven, 2-1, but were ranked in the top 10 in the final poll of the season.     Since 1971, this was one of four teams in school history to finish with two losses or fewer, joining the Owl squads of 1981 (20-2-5), 1974 (17-2-2), 1973 (15-1-1), and 1971 (19-2).