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Panther Field Hockey holds off Westfield State

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Melanie Bates (Derry, N.H.) scored two goals Saturday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University to a 3-2 victory over upset-minded Westfield State College in a Little East Conference field hockey game at Arold Field.

The win pulls the Panthers back to the .500 mark for the first time this season at 4-4 overall, 3-1 in Little East games. Westfield remains winless in eight outings this season, including three LEC contests.

Bates gave the Panthers the lead with her first goal just 2:21 into the contest, with an assist from senior Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.). Sophomore Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) made it a 2-0 Panther lead 10 minutes later with her fourth of the season.

The visitors got on the board with 2:24 remaining in the first half on a goal by junior Laura Scott (Mansfield, Mass.). That broke an extended scoreless string for the Owls, who had been shut out in their previous five games. Bates gave PSU its two-goal lead back with her second of the game and team-leading fifth of the year 13 minutes into the second half, with an assist from freshman Christina Farias (East Dennis, Mass.). Freshman Stephanie Watt (Hubbardston, Mass.) added another goal for Westfield with 12:47 remaining, but the hosts held on the rest of the way. Plymouth State had a 17-6 advantage in shots. Senior goalie Kerry Brady (Jefferson, N.H.) recorded the victory in the Panther net, making three saves. WSC junior Kendra Newell (Groveland, Mass.) made 11 saves for the Owls. Plymouth State will be back in action Tuesday with a Little East game at Salem State (3:30 p.m.), which will be followed by four straight home games. Westfield State returns home and will seek its first victory Tuesday against Worcester State (7:00 p.m.).

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