November 7, 2010


Senecal's Score With 1:37 Remaining Lifts Owls Past RIC, 1-0

Keene, NH-Sophomore Joe Senecalís (Manchaug, MA) goal with 1:37 to play in regulation play lifted top-seeded Keene State College to a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Rhode Island College in the championship game of the Little East Conference menís soccer tournament played at Owl Athletic Complex on Sunday afternoon.


The Anchormen (10-7-2) see their season come to and end, while Keene State (14-4-2) advance to the NCAA Tournament. RIC lost both matchups with the Owls this season, 1-0, with the regular season meeting coming in overtime. Both games were played in Keene.



 Senior captains Corey Carvalho and Louis Tavares accept the 2010 Little East Conference Tournament Championship Runner-Up Trophy after the game.


Collecting a lead pass from senior midfielder Luke Sisco (Pine Plains, NY), Senecal flicked the ball over the head of RIC junior goalie Nick Clark (East Bridgewater, MA) for the game-winning goal. Nursing an injury, Senecal came off the bench to score the go-ahead goal on Sisco's over the top setup.


 The victory gives Keene State its sixth Little East Tournament title and its first crown since 2006.  KSC will bring a six-game winning streak into the NCAAs. The title match loss for RIC was the program's third in four tries. The Anchormen lost in 2005, to Keene State, and in 2004, while capturing RIC's lone crown in 2008.


 The Owls won the championship the hard way, having to replay their semifinal win, 2-1, against UMass Dartmouth after the Corsairs protested a goal in their first meeting last Wednesday. Keene won the replay, 2-1, on Friday night to set up today's matchup. KSC played three game in five days.


Both teams had a quality scoring opportunity in a scoreless first half.  Sophomore back Kyle Leavitt (Plymouth, MA) sent a ball into the box that senior midfielder Brian Holmes (Sharon, MA), just missed getting a foot on at the side of the RIC net.


With 4:45 to play in the half, KSC junior goalie Paul Blackmer (Boylston, MA) was just able to get a hand on a close-range shot by senior midfielder Joe Ruiz (Providence, RI).


 The Anchormen had several chances to get the go-ahead goal in the second half, but the ball was bouncing the Owlsí way.  Junior forward Mike Patriarca (Warren, RI) had a couple of shots at the corner of the Owlsí net. The first hit off the post and the second hit the side of the net. Later in the half, Ruiz had a drive that hit off the crossbar.


 With KSC unable to clear the ball following a corner, Patriarca headed the ball off the bar with 12:10 to play.


 Rhode Island College outshot the Owls, 9-7, and had a 6-3 advantage in corner opportunities. Blackmer finished the game with two saves to pick-up his fourth shutout of the season. Clark stopped five shots for RIC.


The loss marked the final collegiate game for Ruiz and senior co-captains Corey  Carvalho (Dartmouth, MA) and Louis Tavares (East Providence, RI).