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October 31, 2003

PSU Field Hockey holds off Framingham State

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - Senior Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) scored two goals Friday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University field hockey team to a 4-2 Little East Conference victory over Framingham State College in the regular season finale for both schools.

The upset-minded Rams scored to tie the game at 2-2 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second half, but PSU came up with two goals in the final five minutes to pull out the victory.

The win gives the Panthers an 11-5 overall record and an 8-2 mark in the LEC, while Framingham State drops to 6-8 overall and 4-6 in conference play. PSU clinches the #2 seed in next week's LEC Tournament, and will host a first-round game Tuesday at Arold Field (2:30 p.m.) against either Framingham State or Salem State.

Junior Amanda Gutowski (Conway, N.H.) gave the Panthers the lead nine minutes into the contest with her 11th goal of the season. Senior Elizabeth Britton (Barnstable, Mass.) countered for the hosts with five minutes left in the first half to make it a 1-1 game at the break.

Swaffield, playing for the first time since missing four games with an injury, gave the Panthers the lead back five minutes into the second half, with an assist from freshman Christina Farias (East Dennis, Mass.). After FSC sophomore Jenn Johnson (Uxbridge, Mass.) tied it again for the Rams, Swaffield and Farias hooked up again for the game-winner with 4:37 remaining.

Freshman Melanie Bates (Derry, N.H.) tallied an insurance goal with 2:29 to play, her 11th of the season to tie Gutowski for the team lead. Sophomore Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) also picked up two assists in the game, improving her team lead in that department to 10.

Plymouth State had a 23-7 advantage in shots. Panther senior goalie Kerry Brady (Jefferson, N.H.) finished with five saves, and freshman Lindsay McKearney (North Attleboro, Mass.) made 12 saves for Framingham State.

PSU will be seeking its fourth consecutive LEC Championship in next week's tournament. The winner of Tuesday's first-round game will advance to the semifinals next Friday, hosted by top-seeded Keene State.

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