WALTHAM, Mass. - After 110 minutes of scoreless play in the 2009 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Championship match today, the second-seeded Keene State College Owls connected on four of their five penalty kicks to take the crown from the two-time defending champion Brandeis University Judges, 4-2.
Brandeis (10-6-5) and Keene State (16-6-3) played an even first half, with the Judges outshooting the Owls, 6-4. Brandeis senior netminder Hillary Rosenzweig (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River) made four saves, while KSC sophomore goalkeeper Megan Dempsey (E. Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) had three stops. Keene State also had one team save, as Brandeis sophomore midfielder Ali Theodore (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) had her attempt in the 22nd minute cleared off the line.
In the second half, Keene State had the better of the play. The Owls outshot Brandeis, 15-1, in the second 45 minutes of regulation, but Rosenzweig was up to the task, adding five more saves. The Judges, who played 110 minutes to penalty kicks in the semifinals, bounced back in the overtime sessions, getting the only shot on goal 1:41 into the second period, but Dempsey made the stop. Brandeis also had four corner kicks in OT, but were unable to convert. Keene had the edge in the final 20 minutes, outshooting Brandeis 4-3, finishing with a 23-10 advantage for the game.
In the penalty kicks, Keene State went first and hit the post, but Dempsey responded by making a diving save to keep the ledger clear. Owl sophomore Tara Nathan (Bethel, Conn./Bethel) connected on her next attempt, but the Judges missed their second try, hitting the crossbar. The next four players all connected, giving Keene State a 3-2 lead. Owl sophomore Samantha Jo Saltalamaccia (Sandown, N.H./Timberlane) connected on their fourth PK, giving the visitors the insurmountable 4-2 lead and the ECAC title.
For Keene State, Dempsey finished with five saves in the game and 12 for the tournament to earn tournament MVP honors. For Brandeis, Rosenzweig made nine stops, one short of her season-best, while her seventh shutout on the season gives her a school-record 22 for her career.