Men’s Lacrosse falls Short of Keene State, 11 – 10

Junior attackman Patrick Donlan led UMB with four goals and two
assists in a 14-2 victory over Unversity of Southern Maine.

Junior attackman Patrick Donlan led UMB with four goals and two assists in a 14-2 victory over Unversity of Southern Maine.

Shun Hasegawa


UMB’s (6-1, 1-1 in Little East Conference) efforts to win another LAX match were overcome by three goals from Eric Momnie of conference rival Keene State College (3-4, 2-0 in LEC), and six other Owls, who scored in a tense 11-10 contest to snap the Beacons’ six-game winning streak at Clark Athletic Center on Saturday, April 9.

Despite the first defeat of the season, UMB certainly entertained the biggest turnout, around 40 people, with its persistence. Trailing the second-ranked team in the conference for the most part of the match, the Beacons (placed fifth among seven teams) revived from disadvantages of 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9 respectively. The home team wrung Keene State for another drop of cold sweat when sophomore Christopher Hanafin’s team-high fourth goal of the game made it as close as 11-10 with only 1:44 left in the final period. UMB gained possession twice more in the final minute, however, the visitors managed to maintain the lead.

“I’m pretty satisfied with that everybody never gave up and played 100 percent,” said Myles Berry, the Beacons’ 18-year head coach. “Of course, I can’t say it was good to lose as a coach. But this game gave those kids confidence to compete with other conference teams.”

Keene State first picked up the rhythm with an early 2-0 lead. Junior attackman Patrick Donlan got UMB on the board, assisted by Matt Ficarra’s centering to cap the first period.

The second stanza was rough for the both teams. Sean Panora rebuilt a two-point lead for Keene State. UMB began its charge with a goal by sophomore attackman Ryan O’Rourke, who won the LEC Offensive Player of the Week twice in three weeks this season, and sophomore Nicholi Sullo only 30 seconds later adjusted to a feed from Donlan in the air for an equalizer into the left side of the net. Three different Owls tallied until the end of the half, while Donlan dumped another in the cage to enter into the break, down 6-4.

Berry said that he didn’t make many changes after the first 30 minutes during which Keene State played in the UMB’s half for the majority of time. But the Beacons, by themselves, changed the tide of the match soon after the intermission by putting more pressure on the Owls in their half and sometimes successfully intercepting the ball.

The first protesting rocket was sent up by O’Rourke, who has won LEC Offensive Player of the Week twice in three weeks, with his 19th goal of the season, and Hanafin scored a pair of goals to put the Beacons finally up to a 7-6 advantage at 10:50 of the third quarter. The next 53 seconds turned out to be the only time UMB was leading, as three goals by Keene State immediately upset the score, 9-7, with the deciding period onward.

UMB was not out of gas yet, as a pair of goals by Hanafin and freshman middle Jonathan Ruiz tied it again: 9-9, with 3:29 to go. After O’Rourke missed the frame, hitting the post, Keene State attackman Eric Momnie scored in a man-up situation, and Travis Pedley sank a difference-maker with only 1:44 to go, up 11-9.

What hurt UMB the most were a total of 15 fatal penalties the home team committed, four of which Keene State converted into nettings, three of them in the decisive second half.

Hanafin regretted about the penalties and letting a chance at triumph get away. “We could’ve beaten this team today,” he said. “I hope we play against [Keene State] again. I think we will play a lot better.”

Halfway into the season, Berry’s powerhouse has proved to be an offensive threat by scoring double-digits in all but one game, while showing they are also capable enough defensively to limit the opponents to six goals per game, including a 19-0 shutout against Emerson College. On April 5, UMB took a step toward the first conference title since 1997 by defeating UMass Dartmouth, 10-6.

Beacons will be in action again at Clark Athletic Center when they host LEC rivals University of Southern Maine on Thursday, April 14, and Plymouth State University on Saturday, April 16.