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Smith leads PSU Field Hockey past New England College

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass.) scored three goals Tuesday afternoon, including two in the final four minutes of the game, to lead Plymouth State University to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over New England College in non-conference field hockey action at Arold Field.

            Smith scored the first goal of the game to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the contest, with an assist from senior Katie Barany (Middlesex, Vt.).  Sophomore Sarah Feugill (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) evened the score for NEC a little over three minutes later, with classmate Ashley Simula (Bridgewater, N.H.) assisting.  Senior Amanda Lester (Columbia, Conn.) tallied the first of her two goals with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, and the Pilgrims maintained the one-goal lead at the break.

            The Panthers jumped out strong to start the second half, with freshman Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) knotting the score at 2-2 in the first minute. But four minutes later, Lester scored her second of the game, with Feugill assisting, to give the Pilgrims the lead back.

            With time winding down, Smith took a pass from Barany and rifled a shot off the inside of the left goal post and in to tie the game at 3-3 with just 3:39 on the clock. Then 22 seconds later, Smith smacked a free ball out of mid-air, past the goalie and into the cage for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

            Sophomore Mary Roux (Auburn, Mass.) had a busy day in the Pilgrims goal and finished with 16 saves.  Senior Leah Curtin (Londonderry, N.H.) finished with four saves in relief of starter Katie Randall (Portsmouth, N.H.), who made one stop.

            PSU, which won for the fifth time in its last six outings, improved to 6-5 overall, while NEC dropped to 8-6.  The Panthers are home again on Saturday with a Little East Conference game against Fitchburg State (12:00 p.m.)  NEC hosts the University of New England in a Commonwealth Coast Conference match-up on Saturday (1:00 p.m.)

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