LEC Tournament: #6 Southern Maine Falls to #3 Keene State 18-10

USM closed its 2017 season losing a first-round Little East Conference playoff game at Keene State 18-10 (file photo by Jason Johns).
USM closed its 2017 season losing a first-round Little East Conference playoff game at Keene State 18-10 (file photo by Jason Johns).

Little East Conference Tournament
#6 Southern Maine Falls to #3 Keene State 18-10

            KEENE, N.H. -- The upset-minded University of Southern Maine women's lacrosse team put up a gallant effort for 35 minutes before a run of nine consecutive Keene State College goals helped lift the third-seeded Owls to an 18-10 win over the Huskies in a first-round game of the 2017 Little East Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament Tuesday evening at the Owl Athletic Complex.

            The win propels Keene State into a semifinal game on Thursday at second-seeded Plymouth State University with a 7-10 overall record.  The Owls have won two straight, and seven of their last 10 after a 0-7 start to the season.  The loss ends the Huskies' season at 7-9 overall.

            The Huskies got off to a blazing start scoring the first four goals of the game while holding the Owls scoreless for nearly 12 minutes.  The Owls scored four times in a span of 3:03 to tie the game at 4-4, but the Huskies responded with the next two goals, and maintained the lead throughout the remainder of the half to take an 8-7 lead into the break.

            After KSC senior Kelly Chadnick (Brewster, N.Y.) and USM sophomore Kenzie Kidder (Lyman, Maine/Massabesic) traded goals in the opening four minutes of the second half to make it 9-8 for USM, Chadnick ignited the decisive run with her fourth goal of the game at 23:17.  Rookie Gabby Smith's (Laconia, N.H.) goal less than two minutes later gave the Owls their first lead of the game.  In the decisive run of play, Chadnick, Smith, senior Taylor Graf (Hanover, Mass.) and junior Taylor Farland (Fiskdale, Mass.) contributed two goals apiece for the Owls who were up 17-9 after Farland's 41st goal of the season with 8:11 remaining.

            Chadnick led all scorers with five goals and one assist.  In addition to her two goals, Smith also passed out six assists.  Graf, Farland, and sophomore Chelsea Lewis (Londonderry, N.H.) all had three goals for the Owls.  Senior goalie Alison Argiro (Hingham, Mass.) made nine saves to earn her sixth win of the campaign.

            Freshmen Ruth Nadeau (Bath, Maine), Megan Violette (Portland, Maine/Deering) and Allison Irish (Lyman, Maine/Massabesic) had two goals apiece for USM.  Senior Sam Campobasso (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) dished out three assists and had five draw controls.  Junior defender Aubrey Pennell (Freeport, Maine) had a big game leading all players with six ground balls and caused seven KSC turnovers.  Sophomore goalie Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) stopped seven shots. 

            Keene State outshot USM 35-25 in the game, and had a 22-19 advantage in ground balls and an 18-12 lead in draw controls. 

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