Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/4/08
For three years, popular reserve Kevin Keenan (Springfield-Delco) waited patiently for his chance to start in goal for the Philadelphia Barrage.
Finally on Saturday, due to an illness, the Penn State graduate got his chance to make his first Major League Lacrosse (MLL) start – and he made the best of it.
Keenan posted 27 saves and led the Barrage (7-4) to a critical 16-11 MLL victory over the host Boston Cannons before 8,648 at Harvard Stadium, a victory that clinched a playoff berth for the two-time defending champions.
The performance earned Keenan the game MVP award, and Monday he was named the MLL’s Goalie of the Week.
Keenan had been in goal for only 30 minutes of time all season and 139 minutes in three years as the backup to standout Brian Dougherty(Episcopal Academy) until Saturday. His efforts helped Philadelphia improve to 7-4 and take over second place in the Eastern Conference. Dougherty, a three-time MLL goalie of the Year, did not make the trip due to a viral infection.
The Barrage close their regular season Saturday night against New Jersey at Hillsboro (Ore.) Stadium near Portland.
Philadelphia and Los Angeles (7-4) joined Eastern Conference champion Rochester and Western Conference champion Denver in the NB Zip MLL semifinal weekend Aug. 23-24 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass. The playoff pairings will be set following next weekend’s results, though the Rattlers (8-3) and Outlaws (8-3) have clinched the top two seeds.
The Barrage’s win over Boston will be aired Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) on ESPN2.