Panthers hold off second-half Spartan rally
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University field hockey team held off a furious second-half rally by Castleton State College Thursday afternoon and defeated the Spartans, 4-3, in the field hockey opener at Arold Field.
PSU held a 4-0 lead with less than 20 minutes remaining in the second half, but Castleton erupted for three unanswered goals in less than seven minutes to pull to within a goal with eight minutes to play. The Panthers pulled it together and stopped the Spartan momentum and held on for the win. Plymouth State improves to 2-0 on the season while Castleton drops to 0-3.
The outcome was the opposite of Plymouth State's first game of the season, when the Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to Endicott College with a four-goal outburst in the second half for what turned out to be a 4-2 victory.
Sophomore Jackie Morin put the Panthers on the board 13 minutes into the contest, finishing off a penalty corner from classmate Lauren Carroll. Senior Christina Parisi knocked one in for PSU 12 minutes later to make it 2-0, and freshman Nikki Garvey scored on a deflection of a shot by senior Lauren Bergeron with five minutes remaining in the opening half to put PSU up 3-0 at the intermission.
Carroll extended PSU's lead to four goals 10 minutes into the second half, collecting a loose ball in the slot for her first goal of the season and putting the Panthers seemingly in control.
The Spartans broke through with 14:26 remaining when junior Kealy Chipman found a loose ball after a deflection and rifled a shot to the lower left of the goal. That sparked the visitors, who added another goal four minutes later when sophomore Blake Wardwell knocked home a rebound.
Chipman added her second goal of the game with 8:03 on the clock to pull the Spartans to within a goal, but that ended up as the final score.
Senior goalie Bridget Dusha was impressive in the Spartan cage, finishing with 15 saves. Junior Hilary Lemelin made six saves while allowing just one goal in 55 minutes before giving way to freshman Jennifer James, who made one save over the final 15 minutes.
PSU plays its Little East Conference opener this Saturday at 12 noon at Arold Field, hosting Western Connecticut State University. Castleton returns home to host Mount Holyoke College Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
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