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PSC blanks Franklin Pierce in opener

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Amanda Gutowski (Conway, N.H.) and senior Melanie McAvey (Grafton, Mass.) each scored a goal and an assist in the second half Tuesday, leading the Plymouth State College field hockey team to a 3-0 victory over Franklin Pierce College in the Panthers' season opener at Arold Field.

The Panthers get the season off to a winning start (1-0), while FPC drops to 0-3. The game was originally scheduled to be hosted by Franklin Pierce, but was recently moved to PSC.

Both teams had chances in the first half, but neither could find the back of the net. Plymouth State had an 11-5 advantage in shot, but it was scoreless heading into the second half.

Gutowski broke the deadlock with her first goal with 22:53 remaining, with McAvey assisting on the play. Then Gutowski set up McAvey on PSC's second goal just two and a half minutes later to make it 2-0. Junior Brandi Adams (Jaffrey, N.H.) then finished out the scoring with 17:05 on the clock with an unassisted tally.

PSC finished with a 9-4 advantage in shots in the second half, completing the game with a 20-9 margin. Senior Kasey McClements (Ashland, Mass.) was solid in the Franklin Pierce net, making 14 saves in the first 60 minutes before being relieved by freshman Brandi Guertin (Bellingham, Mass.)

Junior Ellen Ward (Thorndike, Maine) played well in the Panther net, making eight saves to post her first shutout of the season. It was also the 16th shutout of her career, breaking the school record (15) Ward previously shared with Shelley Hoar (1995-96).

The Panthers travel to Saint Anselm College Thursday for a 4:00 p.m. game before returning home to host nationally-ranked Springfield College Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Franklin Pierce returns to action Saturday, hosting Bryant College at Keene State's Owl Stadium.