Conroy, Colborn lead Panthers’ second-half rally
DANBURY, Conn. – Plymouth State University scored two second-half goals in a three-minute span Friday evening to come from behind and defeat Western Connecticut State University, 2-1, in a Little East Conference field hockey game at the Westside Athletic Complex.
Senior Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) and sophomore Olivia Colborn (Lancaster, N.H./White Mountain Regional) scored consecutive unassisted goals for PSU in the comeback as the Panthers improved to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the LEC. WestConn dropped to 4-3 and 1-2.
The WestConn offense consistently kept the Plymouth State defense pinned back in its own end of the field in the first half, and at the 12:18 mark sophomore Valerie Lupo (New Fairfield, Conn.) pounced on a rebounded shot in front of the Panther goal and knocked the ball into the net for a 1-0 WestConn lead. The score remained 1-0 at intermission as the Plymouth State offense didn’t get off a shot in the first half of play.
The home team came out firing to start the second half with junior Lauren Atkinson (Southbury, Conn.) taking back-to-back point-blank shots that were saved by Panther goalkeeper, Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.). Plymouth State’s first shot of the game came with more than five minutes gone in the half and seemed to ignite the Panther offense. Conroy finally broke through for Plymouth State at the 47:23 mark to tie the score at 1-1, and Colborn scored the eventual game-winner three minutes later, her team-leading ninth of the season. Lupo produced WestConn’s best chance to tie the game down the stretch, but her shot missed wide right by inches with eight minutes remaining.
Western held an 8-6 advantage in shots (4-0 in the first half). The Colonials also earned five penalty corners, compared to zero for Plymouth State. Lemelin finished with four saves in goal for Plymouth State to earn the win, while WestConn keeper Heather Stone (Valhalla, N.Y.) recorded only one save.
WestConn returns to action Wednesday when it hosts in-state and LEC rival Eastern Connecticut at the Westside Athletic Complex. After playing four straight road games, PSU plays its next three at home, beginning Wednesday against Framingham State.
(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information)
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