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Panthers win LEC opener at UMD

North Dartmouth, Mass. - Plymouth State College began the official defense of its Little East Conference field hockey championship Saturday with a 3-1 victory at the University of Massahusetts Dartmouth in the LEC opener for both schools.

PSC, which went 10-0 in the LEC during the 2000 regular season and won the conference tournament, evens its overall record at 2-2. UMD drops to 1-2.

The Panthers got on the board just three minutes into the game when senior Sacha Jackson (Sangerville, Maine) scored her second goal of the season, with an assist from classmate Danielle Cardin (South Hampton, N.H.). PSC carried most of the play the rest of the first half, with freshman Courtney Leeming (Hanover, N.H.) scoring her first goal of the season with 2:07 on the clock. UMD showed improvement in the second half, and cut the PSC lead to 2-1 on Tracy Olearczyk's goal from Jackie Michalos, but junior Melanie McAvey (Grafton, Mass.) added an unassisted insurance goal for the Panthers with 3:31 remaining.

PSC had a 15-6 advantage in shots and a 15-9 advantage in penalty corners. Panther sophomore keeper Ellen Ward (Thorndike, Maine) was credited with four saves, and UMD keeper Melisa Larrivee registered 10 saves.

The Panthers are back in action Tuesday (Sept. 18) with an LEC home game against Westfield State (4:00 p.m.).