KEENE, N.H. - Nina Bruno got the Owls off and running in the third minute and the KSC field hockey team went on to post their second consecutive shutout, beating Castleton University 3-0 at Owl Athletic Complex Wednesday night in a rematch of last year's Little East tournament championship game.
- Keene State: 5-4, 3-0 LEC
- Castleton: 3-4, 2-1 LEC
How It Happened
Bruno, who took easily a game-high eight shots on the evening, helped the Owls, who controlled the opening quarter, play from ahead at the 2:35 mark after she directed a feed from McKenna Blean into the back of the cage for a 1-0 lead. That tally came just over one minute after Castleton goalie Tashia Pashby-Rockwood stopped a bid from Kayla Klein and Ally McCall's shot hit the post. Castleton had very few chances in the opening quarter, as KSC outshot the visitors 5-0 and led 1-0 after 15 minutes. The Spartans found their legs in the second quarter, as after a corner chance for KSC and three shots - none of which got to Pashby-Rockwood - CU got their first true opportunity of the game when they were awarded a corner at the 18:16 mark. However, Rachel Loseby stopped leading scorer Gabriella Hunt's ensuing shot, and later kept out tries from Allison Lowell (21st minute) and Kaitlin Bardellini (29th minute) to keep Keene State in front. The Owls led 1-0 at the break, outshooting Castleton 9-4.
The Spartans continued their momentum out of the locker room, as Pashby-Rockwood denied Kelsey Roberts just over a minute into the second half and her teammates then earned two corners less than a minute later, but Loseby saved Cydney Jeffrey's shot, the lone one that came from those opportunities in the opening three minutes. KSC quickly responded, once again through Bruno, who weaved her way down the right side and into the circle before rifling a shot past Pashby-Rockwood for a 2-0 lead at the 34:51 mark. The offenses slowed from there over the final 11 minutes of the quater, but Loseby did once again stop Hunt with just over a minute to go to keep it a two-goal game into the final 15 minutes.
The Owls quickly put the game away, scoring 26 seconds into the fourth while holding the Spartans to just one shot in the frame. Chase Lambert was in the right spot at the right time to notch her first career goal, getting one through Pashby-Rockwood after a scrum in the box for a 3-0 lead at the 45:26 mark. She is the third Owl in the last two games to notch her first career goal, as Clara Hunkins and Helen Werner did so in last Saturday's win over UMass-Dartmouth. Trailing by three, Castleton was held to just one shot and one corner chance over the final 14:34 as KSC rolled to a 3-0 start in conference play.
Loseby (5-4) picked up her second consecutive shutout, stopping all five shots that came her way for the Owls. Pashby-Rockwood made four stops, but fell to 2-2 for Castleton.
- KSC started and finished strong in the contest, as they outshot the Spartans 12-1 in the first and fourth quarters combined. The Owls had an 18-7 edge overall. Castleton had five of the eight penalty corners in the game.
- Bruno, who has seven goals in the last four games, is now tied for third on the all-time KSC goals list with Lori Osterberg '90 (64).
- Loseby now has three shutouts this season after having four total in her first two years.
- Keene State leads the all-time series with Castleton 14-2.
- The Owls visit Eastern Connecticut State University for a Little East game on Saturday, September 28 at 11:00 am.
- Castleton travels to UMass Dartmouth for a conference matchup on the same date and time.