Conroy’s three assists leads Panthers to key LEC win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Lauren Bergeron (New Hampton, N.H./Newfound) and sophomore Olivia Colborn (Lancaster, N.H./White Mountain Regional) scored goals less than a minute apart early in the second half Tuesday afternoon and Plymouth State University went on to defeat rival Keene State College, 3-1, in a key Little East Conference field hockey game at Arold Field.
The Panther defense was outstanding in the victory, limiting Keene State to just four shots, two in each half. Freshman Jackie Morin (Scarborough, Maine) also scored a late goal for PSU, and senior Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) collected assists on all three Panther goals.
Plymouth State won its fifth consecutive game to improve to 7-3 overall and take over sole possession of second place in the LEC with a 5-1 mark, while Keene State dropped to 9-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The two teams were tied for second place in the LEC coming into the game.
Keene State jumped ahead a little more than five minutes into the game when junior Elizabeth Coffin (Sugar Hill, N.H.) took a pass from senior Chelsea Blackmer (Boylston, Mass.) along the left baseline and knocked the ball past PSU sophomore goalie Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.). The goal was Coffin’s team-leading 13th of the season, and snapped a scoreless streak against the Panthers of more than 200 consecutive minutes, going back three games.
That ended up as the only scoring of the first half. PSU out-shot the visitors 6-2, but KSC senior goalie Meghan Ledoux (Standish, Maine) made four saves, including two on Conroy from point-blank range.
The Panthers got on the scoreboard five minutes into the second half when Conroy received a penalty corner at the top of the circle, dribbled to her right, and passed to Bergeron on the right-hand side, who knocked the ball past Ledoux for her third of the season to tie the score at 1-1. Less than a minute later, Conroy sent a crossing pass from the right side to Colborn at the goal mouth, and Colborn redirected the ball into an empty net for a 2-1 Panther lead. It was Colborn’s team-leading 11th goal of the season.
The PSU defense did the rest, as junior Brittany Treichel (Clinton, Conn.) and freshmen Amanda Butler (Newton, N.H./Sanborn Regional), Aisha Rai Thompson (Berlin, N.H.) and Alyssa Audet (Biddeford, Maine) combined to shut the Owls down. KSC junior Aislynn Sherry (Rehoboth, Mass.) had a potential game-tying attempt stopped by Lemelin with six minutes remaining, and Morin sealed the win for PSU with her fourth goal of the season in the final minute, assisted again by Conroy.
Plymouth State is on the road Saturday for a Little East match-up at Westfield State, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Keene State returns home to host Southern Maine Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
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