GORHAM, Maine - Senior midfielder Ashley Gutowski (Conway, N.H./Kennett) and junior forward Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass.) combined to score a pair of goals Wednesday afternoon and lead the Plymouth State University Panthers to a 2-1 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in Little East Conference field hockey action at Paula Hodgdon Field.
Plymouth State posted its third straight win and improves to 8-6 overall and 6-3 in the Little East, good for second place out of 12 teams. Suffering their fourth straight loss and third consecutive conference defeat, USM falls to 7-9 overall and 4-5 in the LEC.
After a scoreless first half, the Huskies jumped on the scoreboard first scoring early in the second half. Junior forward Caitlin Albert (Scarborough, Maine) swatted in her eighth goal of the season after junior forward India Lowe's (Gloucester, Mass.) initial shot ricocheted high off the post in the 40th minute.
Smith pulled the Panthers even four minutes later notching her team-leading 13th goal of the season off of a Gutowski assist in the 44th minute. Smith and Gutowski combined again in the 54th minute to deliver the Panthers a win with Gutowski tallying the game-winner following one of PSU's 14 penalty corners in the game.
Plymouth State played solid defense throughout the game stymieing the USM offense while the Panther held a 23-13 edge in shots and a 14-3 edge in penalty corners. Panther freshman goalkeeper Elyse Sedgley (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) made seven saves to earn the win.
USM junior goalkeeper Allison Hill (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) made 13 saves in the loss. Hill's 13 saves gives her 535 in her career and establishes a new school record. The previous record of 531 career saves was held by former USM standout and 2003 NFHCA Second Team All-American Jessie Superchi (2000-2003). Freshman back Christine Hill (Morrill, Maine/Belfast Area) was credited with a pair of defensive saves.
USM returns to action on Saturday (2:00) when it hosts Bridgewater State in a Little East Conference game. Plymouth State hosts LEC foe Worcester State on Saturday (12:30) on Senior Day at Arold Field.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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