Balanced Offense Fuels Western New England’s 13-10, Season-Opening Win at Keene State

Junior Jared Ward recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in Western New England's 13-10 win at Keene State on Tuesday. (Photo by Bill Sharon/Spartan Sportshots)
Junior Jared Ward recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in Western New England's 13-10 win at Keene State on Tuesday. (Photo by Bill Sharon/Spartan Sportshots)

Breau and Ward lead Golden Bears with four points each

KEENE, N.H. (February 27, 2018) –
The Western New England University men's lacrosse team opened its 2018 campaign with a 13-10 victory over Keene State College on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at the Owl Athletic Complex. 

Top Performers
• Junior attackmen Tim Breau (Lima, N.Y.) and Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) led a balanced Western New England offense that featured nine goal scorers with four points each. Breau tallied three goals with one assist, while Ward scored twice and set up two other goals.
• Senior Marc Fiocco (Somers, N.Y.), junior Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.) and sophomore Brendan Lyons (Syosset, N.Y.) also posted multi-point efforts for the Golden Bears.
• Senior goalie Steve Kerr (Hopkinton, Mass.) made 20 saves on 30 Keene State shots.

• Sophomore Anthony Marcella (Hull, Mass.) and seniors Hunter Arnold (Boxborough, Mass.) and Paul Beling (Holliston, Mass.) paced the Owls with two goals and one assist each.

Game Review
Lyons and Breau both scored early in the first quarter, but Keene State tied the contest at 2-2 on senior Jon Nassif's (Hanover, Mass.) unassisted tally 6:43 into the contest.

Western New England took the lead for good just over a minute later, when freshman midfielder Matthew Greer (South Windsor, Conn.) scored his first career goal on a feed from Breau.

The Golden Bears increased their advantage to 5-2 as sophomore Nick Gamba (East Islip, N.Y.) and Breau both found the back of the cage in the final 49 seconds of the opening frame.

Western New England opened up its largest lead (6-2) when senior Justin Holl (Mount Laurel, N.J.) scored 5:38 into the second period.

After the Owls got back into the game with a 3-0 run, Ward helped the Golden Bears re-establish their three-score lead (8-5) at halftime with two goals over the final three minutes heading into the break. 

Keene State again cut its deficit to one (8-7) with goals from Beling and Nassif just 17 seconds apart at 6:14 and 5:57 of the third quarter, respectively.

Cocks won the ensuing faceoff, however, and proceeded to bury his first goal of the season as the Golden Bears closed out the third quarter with a 3-0 run, capped by a Breau strike with one second on the clock.

Western New England had an answer for each of Keene State's fourth quarter goals, as the Golden Bears held off the Owls in the final frame to secure the win.  

Notes
• Western New England held a 14-11 faceoff edge, as Cocks won 10-of-20 and senior Preston Stolberg (Highland Park, Ill.) lost just once in his five tries.
• Kerr's 22 saves are his most since making 22 stops in last season's 16-13 loss to Keene State.
• The Owls held a 34-28 advantage in ground balls, while both teams were successful on 11-of-13 clear attempts.
• Keene State and Western New England were ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in the NEILA Preseason Poll. 

Up Next
Western New England (1-0) returns home to host Lasell College on Saturday at 1 p.m, while Keene State (1-1) travels to Tufts next Wednesday.