Panthers defeat Bridgewater State to claim title
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The third time was the charm on Sunday for the Plymouth State University field hockey team.
The Panthers were playing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament championship game for the third straight season, having lost the previous two by one goal each. PSU was also playing Bridgewater State for the third time this season, all on BSU’s home field, with the Bears winning the first two. Plymouth State, seeded third in the tournament, made the third time count on Sunday, capturing the ECAC championship with a 2-1 victory over top seed and host Bears at Swenson Field.
PSU claimed its third ECAC title, and first since 2004. The Panthers won their first ECAC championship in 1987.
Sophomore Olivia Colborn (Lancaster, N.H.) scored twice for the Panthers (14-7) including the game-winning tally in the 46th minute. Colborn lifted a back-handed shot that sailed over the Bridgewater State goalkeeper’s head and dropped into the back corner of the net.
Bridgewater (12-9) had taken the early 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of play as senior Bethany Bush (Littleton, Mass.) one-timed a pass from classmate Justine Fox (Harwich, Mass) and beat the Plymouth keeper to the left side. Bush finished the season with career highs in goals (22), assists (10) and points (54). She is also the Bears’ all-time leader in assists with 25, and ranks second in program history in goals with 47 and points with 119.
Colborn answered in the 14th minute off a feed from junior Christina Parisi (Hampton Falls, N.H.) to knot the game at 1-1.
Plymouth State played stifling defense throughout the remainder of the game as the Panthers held the Bears without a shot in the second half. Plymouth held a 15-7 shot advantage for the game, while Bridgewater posted a 6-5 edge in penalty corners.
Sophomore Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.) made three first half saves for the Plymouth and was not tested in the second half. Senior Katie Weber (Arlington, Mass.) turned aside four shots between the pipes for the Bears.
Senior forward Kristina Conroy (Wakefield, Mass.) was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player by the Plymouth State coaching staff (right).
(Courtesy of Bridgewater State Sports Information)
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