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Silva, Ward lead Panthers past USM

GORHAM ,Maine - Freshman forward Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) scored the only goal of the game in the first half to give the Plymouth State College Panthers a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference field hockey showdown Wednesday afternoon at Paula D. Hodgdon Field.

The win was the fourth straight for the Panthers who are now 7-1 overall and the only unbeaten team in the Little East (4-0). Southern Maine, winner of its last six games, dropped to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

Silva picked up her third goal of the season at the 22:37 mark of the first half when she converted a short shot off a crossing pass from the right wing by senior Marushka Eddy (Nantucket, Mass.). The Panthers dominated the first 35 minutes, piling up a 9-2 edge in shots.

Southern Maine played better in the second half, putting some pressure on Plymouth junior goalie Ellen Ward (Thorndike, Maine). The Huskies best chance came with about ten minutes to play, but the ball hopped over freshman Kayla Vaughan's (Monroe, Maine) stick 10 feet out from goal as Ward was scrambling back into position.

Ward, the nation's leading Division III goalie, was credited with three saves as she lowered her best-in-the-nation goals against average to 0.13. USM junior goalie Jessie Superchi (Campton, N.H.) was superb, keeping the Huskies in the game by making 13 saves. Plymouth State finished the game with a 17-6 edge in shots and an 11-2 advantage in penalty corners.

Southern Maine travels to Worcester State College this Saturday for another important conference game, starting at 2:00 p.m.. Plymouth State is off until next Tuesday (Oct. 8) when it hosts Salem State College in Little East play at 4:00 p.m. (

Courtesy Southern Maine Sports Information)