#20 WNEC Runs by Hartwick to Claim ECAC Title

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - It was a great ending to one of the best seasons in program history.

Junior attacker Joe O''Keefe (Branford, CT) scored three goals and had three assists as No. 20 Western New England defeated Hartwick 18-5 to capture the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship Sunday afternoon (May 15).

O'?Keefe, who battled back from injuries that sidelined him for eight games this spring, was named the Most Outstanding Player for his performance.

The Golden Bears finished the season with an impressive 16-5 record, which is the second highest win total in team history.

Western New England got off to a fast start when senior defender Billy Kelsey (Yorktown Heights, NY) fired in a shot just 1:24 into the contest.

Hartwick answered a little more than three minutes later as freshman midfielder Zach Gropper (Syosset, NY) found the net with an assist from freshman attacker Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, NY).

The Golden Bears responded by scoring four straight goals, the last by O'?Keefe, to take a 5-1 advantage with 4:39 left in the period.

Sophomore attacker Harry Hughes (Holtsville, NY) netted a goal at the

2:16 mark to pull the visitors within three before freshman midfielder Sean Lawton (Abington, MA) put the hosts back up by four with a goal 49 seconds before the end of the quarter.

O'Keefe scored a goal and dished out both his assists in the second stanza as Western New England held Hartwick scoreless to take a

10-2 lead at the break.

The Golden Bears broke the game open by outscoring the Hawks 7-1 in the third period.

Western New England had another balanced scoring attack as junior midfielder Patrick White (Milton, MA) and sophomore attacker Corrigan Harreys (Essex, CT) each contributed three goals with an assist.

Freshman attacker Adam Knapton (Canandaigua, NY) added a pair of goals and assists while Lawton finished with two goals and an assist. Kelsey chipped-in with a goal and assist.

Junior midfielder Joe Martin (Springfield, MA) took seven of nine face-offs while senior midfielder Bill Grieder (South Windsor, CT) was six for eight in that category. Martin and Grieder each picked-up five ground balls.

Junior goalie Brewster Knowlton (Somers, CT) capped off another outstanding year by compiling a season high 20 saves.

Hughes led the Hawks with two goals and an assist while Schaefer ended with a goal and assist. Cooper and senior defender Zach Skvarch (Syracuse, NY) each had four ground balls.

Freshman midfielder Shane Latsko (East Longmeadow, MA) won three of five face-offs. Freshman goalie Nick Triano (North Andover, MA) turned away 10 shots.

Hartwick ends its season with a 10-9 record.

* * * *

SPRINGFIELD, MA Hartwick's men's lacrosse team had its season come to a close on Sunday as the Hawks fell in the ECAC Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament Championship to host Western New England College, 18-5. The Hawks finish 10-9 overall, marking just the eighth time in program history the team has reached 10 victories. The Bears, ranked #20 in Division III, finish the campaign 16-5.

Sophomore Harry Hughes (Holtsville, NY/Sachem East) led Hartwick with two goals and an assist on the day. Freshman Phil Schaefer (Holbrook, NY/Sachem North) contributed a goal and an assist, and Brian Finnegan (East Northport/Northport) and Zach Gropper (Syosset, NY/Syosset) each tallied.

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