There are those talented athletes who have the good fortune to step into college programs and garner significant playing time right away, and the kind of ability it takes to go from high school athletics to collegiate sports and become standouts from square one.
Former Londonderry High School soccer and lacrosse star Rob Hart did just that this past spring in going from being a supreme scoring machine the LHS Lancers to putting home shots by the dozen as a freshman laxman for the Keene State College contingent.
The freshman attacker played in and started all 17 of the Owls’ matches, helping his squad to a solid 10-7 overall record and a perfect 7-0 Little East Conference mark. And Hart and the Owls’ squad – that also included former LHS multi-sport stalwart Mike Wiedenfeld (a sophomore defender) – rolled to the Little East championship at the close of the campaign.
Hart collected an impressive 39 goals, 24 assists, and 63 points in his 17 games, and put forth two five-goal performances and a handful of three-goal games for coach Mark Theriault’s skilled and determined lax crew.
The freshman phenom was third on the team in goals, tied for second in assists, and third in points. He had an exceptional nine-point game (five goals, four assists) against Tufts, and also potted five goals in a match with Southern Maine.
The former Lancer star also potted three goals each in matches with Wesleyan, U-Mass Dartmouth, U-Mass Boston, Plymouth State, and Eastern Connecticut State.
In the latter match against the Connecticut opponent – which was the LEC championship game – Hart scored those three goals and dished out one assist for a fine, four-point match in a key situation.
Keene State had several spring teams which included multiple former Londonderry High Lancers, with another being coach Katie Arsenault’s women’s lacrosse team. That hard-working crew wound up falling just one win short of an LEC championship.
That contingent, that posted a 13-5 overall record and went 6-0 in Little East matches before falling to Plymouth State in the LEC title contest, included senior midfielder Ashley Borjeson, senior goalie Libby Curran, and junior defender Lindsay Conroy.
Borjeson played in and started all 18 of the Lady Owls’ contests, scoring 10 goals and dishing out four assists for 14 total points. She ended up leading her team with 54 ground balls.
Curran appeared in six games with one start in net – and one victory – for the KSC contingent, and Conroy played in 12 matches with two starts for the skilled squad.
And the Keene State baseball squad – which posted a 10-20 record for veteran coach Ken Howe – included a trio of former Lancers as well.
Sophomore outfielder Vinny Parilla, sophomore pitcher/outfielder Keith Simpson, and freshman infielder Austin Marino all made contributions for the Owls this spring.
Parilla played in 21 games for the squad, batting .236 with seven runs batted in and five stolen bases. In the field, Parilla had 35 putouts and one assist to tally a fielding percentage of .947.
Lefty Simpson made eight pitching appearances (tied for second on the squad), compiled a 1-2 record, and snagged 12 strikeouts in 27 innings worth of hill work.
Freshman Marino appeared in seven of the Owls’ games and drove in a pair of runs.