MANSFIELD, Conn. -The Plymouth State University field hockey team spotted Eastern Connecticut State University the first goal of the match Sunday afternoon, then roared back to post an 8-1 Little East Conference victory.
Junior Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) led the powerful Panther attack, scoring three goals to increase her conference-leading total to 18 goals. Two other Panthers scored two goals on the afternoon -- sophomore Melanie Bates (Derry, N.H.) and senior Amanda Gutowski (Conway, N.H.) PSU won its third straight to improve to 9-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play, while Eastern slipped to 5-10 overall and 3-4 in the LEC.
Eastern scored the first goal of the match, by senior Mo Deegan (Westport, Mass.), and trailed just 2-1 at halftime. Bates set up Silva for PSU's first goal and then scored the eventual game-winner, with an assist from junior Mel Dixon (Mattapoisett, Mass.).
Plymouth State scored all six of its second-half goals in a span of eight minutes. Gutowski and Silva added two goals apiece in the rally, and senior Caitlin Moran (Rowley, Mass.) and junior Morgan Butters (Stow, Maine) collected one goal apiece, the first for Butters in her career. Dixon added her second assist, and senior Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) added a pair of assists.
Plymouth State scored eight goals for the second straight conference match. The high-powered Panther offense is averaging 4.5 goals per match.
Eastern Conn. was playing without top scorer Elena Lupone (Clinton, Conn.) and starting back Erika Profenno (South Portland, Maine), each of whom missed their first matches of the year with hand injuries.
Eastern hosts UMass Dartmouth Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in an LEC match in its regular-season home finale. PSU plays its final road game of the regular season Wednesday at Fitchburg State (4:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Eastern Conn. Sports Information)
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