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Keogh keying Knighthawks attack

03/24/2014, 12:00pm EDT
By Knighthawks beat writer Jeremy Pike for NLL.com

Former Syracuse University forward on pace for career year with Rochester

Rochester Knighthawks forward Stephen Keogh has increased his production as a key part of their attack. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Rochester Knighthawks are unmistakably forward Cody Jamieson's team. Jamieson leads the team with 28 goals and 71 points. However, fellow forward Stephen Keogh has been a key cog of Rochester's offense since the Knighthawks lost to the Edmonton Rush back on February 1.

Since Rochester fell to the Rush, Keogh has scored 16 of his 21 goals and contributed 18 of his 28 assists on the season. The Knighthawks have not scored fewer than 10 goals in any contest since in that span.

Keogh is on pace for 31 goals and 42 assists, both of which would be career numbers for him. This coming off a sub par second season, where he only notched 13 goals and 11 assists.

“That's the Stevie we need, that's the Stevie that came in and played his first year,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen, referencing Keogh's rookie season, he notched 26 goals and 32 assists.

Prior to the Knighthawks' week 11 game against the Philadelphia Wings, coach Hasen spoke about the first three weeks of Keogh's offensive surge.

“Stevie's playing very, very well for us right now,” coach Hasen said. “Biggest thing about Stevie is he's constantly going hard to the net and he's creating space for his teammates... But the same time, he's burying and capitalizing on his opportunities. It's real good for him and he's having a good year so far. We just need to keep him focused and doing that.”

After that game against the Wings, in which Rochester won 13-8 and Keogh notched 2 goals and 4 assists, he addressed his play up to that point.

“I'm just trying to go hard every shift,” Keogh said. “The ball's been falling for me the last couple games, but I'm just trying to do anything to help the team. We've got so many great players on offense, it could be anyone's night each night.”

What really led to Keogh's success can be traced down the New York State Thruway less than two hours from the Blue Cross Arena. Stephen Keogh's play at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse Orange is what led the Knighthawks to selecting him second overall in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. He finished his career at Syracuse with 133 goals, good for ninth on the Orange's all-time goals scored list.

Keogh was also named the Big East Attackman of the Year in 2011. During that campaign, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish's head coach, Kevin Corrigan, spoke after the Irish fell to the Orange for the second time that season about what made Keogh so special.

“You have to account for him all the time,” coach Korrigan said. “That's a pretty good player right there. He's the guy you have to account for as a unit.”

Make no mistake the Knighthawks are, and will continue to be, Cody Jamieson's team. Every team needs more than one player to be a championship team, and Stephen Keogh has the track record to continue to be one of the most integral parts of Rochester's offense.

He'll be needed this weekend when Rochester hosts the Rush to try and snap their record 11-0 start and protect the 12-game win streak set by the 2007 Knighthawks.

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