HENNIKER, N.H. - Sophomore Samantha Escobar (Rumney, N.H.) put in a pass from Elise Luccarelli (Holmdel, N.J.) with 1:55 remaining in overtime Wednesday afternoon to lift the New England College Pilgrims past the Plymouth State University Panthers, 3-2, in a non-conference field hockey game.
The Pilgrims extend their winning streak to five games and improve to 11-4 overall. The Panthers dropped their third straight game, and fell to 5-6 on the season. Five of PSU's six losses have been by one goal, including two in overtime.
The Pilgrims did not waste much time getting on the board as senior captain Jodie Dresser (Keene, N.H.) flicked in a pass from Escobar just 3:13 into the opening half. The two teams would settle down and play through the next 27 minutes scoreless before PSU sophomore Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) took advantage of a loose ball in front of the net, knotting the game at 1-1. NEC responded as Luccarelli netted her third goal of the season off a rebound just two minutes later giving the Pilgrims the 2-1 halftime advantage.
PSU junior Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass.) tied the game back up early in the second half as she put in a cross from Conroy at the 45:32 mark. The Plymouth offense had several opportunities in the second half out shooting NEC 12-6 but Pilgrim keeper Mary Roux (Auburn, Mass.) came up with eight second half saves keeping the Panthers off the board and forcing overtime.
Both teams had opportunities in overtime but neither team was able to convert as the two teams battled through 28 scoreless minutes. The Pilgrims had a chance late in overtime on a penalty stroke but this time it was the Panther keeper freshman Elyse Sedgley (Hopkinton, N.H.) who would come up huge with the save. With less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime Escobar scored the game-winner for NEC off a pass from Luccarelli.
Roux finished with 22 saves on the afternoon to earn the win in the Pilgrim net. Sedgley stopped 13 shots for the Panthers.
NEC returns to action on Saturday when they host Commonwealth Coast Conference foe Gordon College at 1:00 p.m. Plymouth State will travel to take on Little East Conference opponent Fitchburg State on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
(Courtesy of NEC Sports Information)
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