PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) scored two first-half goals, and Plymouth State University went on to defeat the University of Southern Maine, 3-1, in a key Little East Conference field hockey game at Arold Field.
The victory pulls the Panthers into a tie with Southern Maine for second place in the LEC, both teams at 7-2 in conference play and a game behind league-leading Keene State College. PSU won for the seventh time in its last eight outings to improve to 8-5 overall, while USM dipped to 11-5 overall on the season, suffering its first loss of the year by more than one goal.
Conroy put the Panthers on the board just 7:46 into the game. PSU senior Rachel Kirschner (Burlington, Conn.) smacked a shot on goal and USM netminder Allie Hill (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) made the save, but Conroy collected the rebound and fired it past Hill to make it 1-0.
It stayed a one-goal game until about 10 minutes remaining in the first half, when sophomore Kerry D'Ambroise (Lowell, Mass.) deflected a ball to Conroy, who was in the right position and knocked in her second of the afternoon and fifth of the season.
Southern Maine got on the board with just over two minutes remaining in the first half when senior Alyson Lumino (Hampden, Maine) took a pass from sophomore Cristina Corson (Naples, Maine) near the top of the arc and blasted it to the lower left corner past the screened Panther goaltender.
Plymouth State maintained control through most of the second half, and scored an insurance goal with 6:38 on the clock. Sophomore Morgan Lemmon (Gilford, N.H.) took a free hit and freshman Sarah Warner (Contoocook, N.H.) redirected it from the left side into the net for her second goal of the season.
The Panthers finished with a 21-7 advantage in shots and a 13-5 margin in penalty corners. Senior goalie Leah Curtin (Londonderry, N.H.) picked up the win for PSU, making six saves, while Hill finished with 15 saves for the Huskies.
Both teams are back in action with conference road games on Saturday, as PSU travels to Worcester State (1:00 p.m.) and USM visits Bridgewater State (2:00 p.m.)
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