PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Seniors Sarah Lynch (Belgrade Lakes, Maine) and Megan Fournier (East Waterboro, Maine) scored two goals apiece Friday afternoon at Arold Field to lead top-seeded Plymouth State College a 5-0 victory over fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in the semifinals of the Little East Conference Field Hockey Tournament.
The victory, PSC's 10th straight, sends the Panthers (13-4) into the LEC Championship game Saturday at 12 noon at Arold Field against sixth-seeded Worcester State College. The Lancers earned a spot in the title game after registering their second straight upset victory, a 1-0 decision over second-seeded University of Southern Maine in Friday's other semifinal game. The LEC champion will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. Plymouth State defeated Keene State 2-1 in last year's title game.
Lynch put the Panthers on the board three minutes and 24 seconds into the game, taking a pass from teammate Sacha Jackson (Sangerville, Maine) and beating ECSU goalie Jennifer Makwana (Stamford, Conn.). The Panthers then got two quick goals on penalty corner plays just before halftime, with junior Kristle Wheeler (Brandon, Vt.) finishing off a play from senior Danielle Cardin (Southampton, N.H.) with 3:33 remaining, and Lynch tallying her second of the game from junior Katie Dodge (Sanbornton, N.H.) with 32 seconds on the clock. Fournier added both Panther goals in the second half, scoring on a penalty stroke five minutes in and deflecting home a shot by Dodge in the final minute. Fournier leads PSC in scoring with 12 goals.
Plymouth State finished with a 20-5 advantage in shots on goal. PSC sophomore keeper Ellen Ward (Thorndike, Maine) made one save in the first 57 minutes, and classmate Kerry Brady (Jefferson, N.H.) made two excellent saves in the final 13 minutes to preserve the shutout. Makwana finished with 11 saves for the Warriors, who complete their season at 11-8.
The championship game is a rematch of last Saturday's regular season finale, which was captured by Plymouth State, 3-0, in Worcester, Mass.