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Matteson's hat trick lifts PSC past ECSU

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior forward Jill Matteson (Chatham, Mass.) scored three goals and an assist Sunday afternoon to lift the Plymouth State College field hockey team to its eighth consecutive victory and seventh straight Little East Conference win, a 6-1 decision over Eastern Connecticut State University.

Plymouth State (11-1, 7-0), the two-time defending LEC regular-season and playoff champion, eased to its sixth win over Eastern (6-6, 4-3) in as many tries since the inception of the series in 1998. The Panthers, who have outscored their opponents 39-6 this year, have won 24 of their last 25 conference regular-season and playoff matches. Plymouth State is the No.-1 ranked team in the NCAA Division III New England-West Region and the LEC's first-place squad.

Matteson had two goals and an assist when Plymouth raced to a 4-0 lead in a span of seven minutes in the first half. She opened the scoring by knocking in her own rebound 10 minutes into action; set up the team's third goal six minutes later with a cross to sophomore forward Amanda Gutowski (Conway, N.H.), and made it 4-0 when she potted her second goal following a flurry of shots, the first two of which were knocked down by Eastern senior Jennifer Makwana (Stamford, Conn.). Matteson earned the hat trick six minutes into the second half by converting a penalty stroke after Makwana was whistled for covering the ball.

Senior Kristle Wheeler (Brandon, Vt.) also contributed to the Panther offense with a first-half goal on a penalty shot, and junior Brandy Adams (Jaffrey, N.H.) closed out the scoring with PSC's sixth goal with five minutes remaining in the game.

Eastern, which lost for the first time at home this year, became the fourth team to score a goal against PSC this year on senior midfielder Danielle Oliviera's (Brookfield, Conn.) deflection of sophomore Mo Deegan's (Westport, Conn.) 10-yard shot with 6:43 to play in the second half.

Plymouth junior goalkeeper Ellen Ward (Thorndike, Maine), who shows a conference-leading 0.54 goals-against average, did not make a save on three Eastern shots. Makwana collected a personal-high 16 saves, 10 coming on PSC's 13 first-half shots.

The Warriors host Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. while Plymouth State visits Fitchburg State College Wednesday at 4 p.m. Both are conference matches.

(Courtesy ECSU Sports Information)