KEENE, N.H. - Senior Morgan Lemmon (Gilford, N.H.) scored the tie-breaking goal on a reverse-stick shot with 10 minutes remaining Wednesday afternoon as eighth-seeded Plymouth State University shocked top-seeded Keene State College, 3-2, in the first round of the ECAC New England Field Hockey Tournament at the Owl Athletic Complex.
PSU defeated Keene State for the first time in its last six tries and avenged a 3-0 loss to the Owls earlier this season. The Panthers advance to the ECAC New England semifinals this Saturday at second-seeded University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. UNE, which advanced with a 5-2 win over seventh-seeded University of Southern Maine, will play sixth-seeded Endicott College in one-semifinal, as Endicott upset third-seeded Framingham State College on Wednesday, 2-0
The Panthers, 11-8, will play in the other semifinal Saturday at UNE against fourth-seeded WPI, 12-6, as the Engineers defeated fifth-seeded New England College Wednesday, 3-1. The championship game is slated for Sunday at UNE. Keene State, which last Saturday was one goal away from winning the Little East Conference title, ends the season at 18-6.
Plymouth State had the first scoring chance of the contest with sophomore Lauren Bergeron (New Hampton, N.H.) and Lemmon each taking shots at Keene State goalie Vikki Stoessel (Derry, N.H.) less than a minute apart. Stoessel was up to the task setting aside both scoring chances.
The Owls used the momentum to hit the scoreboard first at the 12:39 mark, when sophomore Elizabeth Coffin (Sugar Hill, N.H.) took a pass from sophomore Chelsea Blackmer (Boylston, Mass.) and scored to give KSC a 1-0 lead. PSU evened the game 10 minutes later as senior Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass.) ripped a rebound past the dive of Stoessel from inside the circle.
The Panthers took the lead just over three minutes later and went into the half with a 2-1 lead as junior Courtney McLaughlin (Bellingham, Mass.) netted her fourth goal of the season.
Keene State tied the score up midway through the second half as sophomore Jacki Benson (Hampstead, N.H.) took the ball away from the Panther defenders and tallied her 10th goal of the season with 14 minutes remaining in regulation.
Plymouth State fought right back, with just over 10 minutes left, after an Owl foul in the circle and a Panther corner, Lemmon, who was named to the All-LEC team in Tuesday, took a reverse-stick shot for her fourth goal of the year and second game-winner.
Keene State was outshot by the Panthers 18-12 and had only nine corners to PSU's 13. Stoessel saved 10 shots for the Owls, while freshman Hannah Sawyer (Kingston, N.H.) stopped five shots in the Panther goal to pick up the victory.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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