BIDDEFORD, Maine - Senior forward Taryn Flagg (Livermore Falls, Maine) scored with 2:13 elapsed in overtime to give the second-seeded University of New England the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Field Hockey Championship with a 3-2 victory over eighth-seeded Plymouth State University under the lights Monday night.
Off a penalty corner, Flagg collected the injection from sophomore Brianna Tupper (Winthrop, Maine) and laced a hard drive from just inside the left side of the circle for her third goal of the evening -- tying a school record held by nine other players -- and setting off a wild celebration.
UNE freshman back Emily Koehler (Pelham, Mass.) played a strong championship defensively and was selected Most Outstanding Player. The Nor'easters conclude their season with a school-record 16 wins against three losses, and earned the school's first ECAC Championship in any sport.
Plymouth State (12-9) fought its way to the title game from the No. 8 seed and suffered its second consecutive championship game setback. The Panthers dropped a 1-0 decision to Endicott College last season.
The two teams would go back-and-forth the entire game. Flagg opened the scoring just 1:18 into the match when she re-directed a shot by Tupper. The Panthers answered 11 minutes later on an unassisted goal by senior Kerry D'Ambroise (Lowell, Mass.).
Flagg gave the Nor'easters a 2-1 advantage at 54:48 in the same fashion she scored the game-winner. Tupper pushed her a pass off a UNE corner that Flagg collected and drove into the back of the cage.
Once again, Plymouth State had an answer, and once again it was D'Ambroise who notched the equalizer. The Panthers' leading scorer recorded her 12th goal off a penalty corner. Sophomore Lauren Bergeron (New Hampton, N.H.) fed D'Ambroise and senior Morgan Lemmon (Gilford, N.H.) triggered the corner to get credit for assists.
Flagg's game-winning tally came on the Nor'easters' lone shot of the extra session. She finishes the season with a school-record 23 goals, while ending her career with program highs in goals scored (51), assists (22) and total points (124). Tupper's three assists broke Flagg's single-season record and matched the single-game record held by Nicole Mace '08.
Junior Ayla Nelson (Auburn, Mass.) made 10 saves for the Nor'easters. Panther first-year goalkeeper Hannah Sawyer (Kingstown, N.H.) registered three stops.
(Courtesy of Univ. of New England Sports Information)
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