Keene State vs. Eastern Connecticut
May 5, 2007
The Game Story:
KEENE, N.H. 5/5/07 - Named Most Outstanding Player, sophomore attack Tony Santa Fe (Derry, N.H.) scored five goals and dished out three assists to lead top seed Keene State College to an 18-6 victory over second seed Eastern Connecticut State University in the championship game of the Little East Conference men's lacrosse tournament at Owl Athletic Complex on Saturday.

It was the second conference title for the 17th ranked Owls (15-0), who will head to the NCAA tournament with an undefeated record. KSC has faced ECSU in the last five finals. The Owls also claimed the championship in 2005.

"The players knew what was at stake and prepared all week to beat Eastern," said KSC Coach Mark Theriault. "It's such a great rivalry and our guys played a fantastic all-around game.

"The seniors were hungry for this win," he added. They remember last year and losing to Eastern by two goals. They vowed it wouldn't happen this year."

The Owls didn't waste any time getting on the board. KSC went up 3-0 four minutes in the game on a pair of goals by Santa Fe and a goal by Ryan Hazelton (Chester, N.H.). After Dave Carpenter (Redding, Conn.) cut the lead to 3-1, the Owls exploded for 12 straight goals to take a commanding 15-1 advantage. Santa Fe scored three more goals in the uprising.

Santa Fe said the key to the win was jumping out to an early lead. "If we get up on a team early, if hard for teams to come back against our defense," said Santa Fe, who leads the Owls in scoring with 37 goals and 28 assists for 65 points.

Hazelton finished the game with four goals and two assists and Casey Brodersen (Derry, N.H.), Mike Fontaine (Wolfeboro, N.H.), and Taylor Morasutti (Cheshire, Conn.) chipped in with two goals each.

Carpenter had two goals and four assists to lead the Warriors (8-9). Tommy Laverty (Westport, Conn.) also had a pair of goals for ECSU.

Matt Johnson (Derry, N.H.) had eight saves for the Owls before giving way to Billy Brooks (Lewiston, Me.) who had one save. Kyle Savage (Southington, Conn.) stopped 19 shots for the Warriors.

Keene State will find out its NCAA first-round opponent on Sunday evening. The tournament begins on Wednesday. "We're not just content to make it," Theriault said. "We're a potent team offensively and defensively, and I really think we can do some damage in the tournament."