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Keene State Downs Men’s Soccer, 3-1

Springfield, Mass. – September 10, 2008 – Alex Larson netted two goals to lead the visiting Keene State Owls to a 3-1 victory over the Springfield College men’s soccer team in a spirited contest on Wednesday evening.

The win improves the Owls to 2-1-1 on the year, while the Pride lost its first of the season, dropping to 1-1-1.

The game was extremely physical as the teams combined for 44 fouls and four yellow cards.

The Owls scored the first goal of the game 8:49 into the contest as they took advantage of a miscommunication in the Pride defensive third. On a pass back to goalkeeper Kevin Leahy (Cheshire,Conn.), Larson beat Leahy to the ball and slipped it into the back of the net from 10 yards out to put the visitors up 1-0.

The Pride’s lone scoring opportunity in the first frame came with 6:25 left in the first half. John Plourd (Southampton, Mass.) found Tip Nolan (Burlington, Vt.) alone in the box, but Nolan’s shot went wide left as the Pride went into the half trailing by one.

The Owls started the second half pressing early and nearly netted a goal one minute into the stanza. Michael Vitone sent a header towards the top left corner of the goal, only to be denied after Leahy made a terrific save to tip it over the crossbar.

Larson netted his second goal of the game with 22 minutes left in the contest. Off a free kick from just inside the midway line, Alex Horne flicked a header to a streaking Larson who beat Leahy, giving the Owls a two-goal advantage.

However, just four minutes later, Brett Drake (Enfield, Conn.) cut the Pride’s deficit to one with an outstanding goal. After Dan Cotter (Stoughton, Mass.) brought the ball up from the defensive third, the Owls appear to break up the Pride attack. However, Drake made the most of a bouncing loose ball just outside the box, as he buried a half-volley past the diving Peter Kersker to make it a 2-1 game.

Alex Horne put the game away with 12 minutes remaining in regulation. After an unsuccessful Pride corner kick, Stephen Attardo sent a long ball to Horne, who was waiting at midfield. Horne headed the ball past a Pride defender and took the ball the rest of the field and finished his one-on-one opportunity for the Owls third tally of the night.

Keene State held at 15-7 advantage on shots. Leahy finished with six saves in net for the Pride, while Kersker needed to make just two to capture the win in goal.

Springfield hits the road for the first time this season as it takes on Elms College on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm