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October 26, 2011

Saint Joseph’s turns back PSU Field Hockey

Monks stops Panthers' seven-game winning streak

            STANDISH, Maine – The Plymouth State University field hockey team had its seven-game winning streak snapped Wednesday afternoon as Saint Joseph's College slipped past the Panthers, 2-1, in a non-conference match at Westerlea Way Field.

            Senior forward Sarah Bartell tallied a goal and an assist in the victory to help Saint Joseph's improve to 11-5 overall, while Plymouth State suffered just its second loss of the year and is now 14-2 overall.

            The Monks kicked off the scoring in the 12th minute when sophomore TJ Cowin scored her team-leading 14th goal of the season off a penalty corner. Senior Renee Leach took the corner and, after a quick scramble in the circle, Bartell scooped up the ball and found a wide-open Cowin, who rifled a shot to the middle of the cage from about five yards out.

            The Panthers responded with perhaps their best scoring opportunity of the game 13 minutes later when freshman Nikki Garvey steered a pair of shots on net. The first bid was stopped by Meaghan Johnson, who left the goalmouth to make the save, but Garvey scooped up the rebound and steered a shot to the heart of the cage. Thankfully for the hosts, junior defender Brittany Locke was in position to make a defensive save.

            The near-goal by Plymouth did not faze Saint Joseph's as the hosts went on to double the lead just over a minute later when Bartell scored at the 25:36 mark. Freshman Peyton Dostie created the chance with a slick right-to-left cross pass from the right corner and her senior teammate finished with a shot to the lower left corner of the cage.

            Both teams recorded three shots and the Monks held a 2-0 edge in penalty corners in the first half, but the Panthers poured on the pressure in the latter stanza by the tune of a 10-2 shots advantage. As a result, the Monks were on the defensive for the majority of the final 35 minutes and the SJC backline - led by Johnson - showed its mettle to preserve the victory.

            Panthers junior forward Olivia Colborn managed to cut her team's deficit in half with a score off a corner with five minutes remaining in the contest. Senior Erin Norris sent the ball in play off the corner and was denied by Johnson on a shot six seconds later. Colborn somehow collected the rebound in traffic and blasted a shot to the left side of the cage to make the closing minutes stressful for the Royal Blue faithful.

            Plymouth State recorded only one shot for the remainder of the contest, an attempt by Norris that sailed wide at the 67:10 mark. The Panthers were awarded a penalty corner bid with 42 seconds remaining, but no shot was attempted on the play.

            PSU held a 13-5 advantage in shots and both teams earned six penalty corner attempts on the afternoon. Johnson recorded eight saves while junior Hilary Lemelin posted one stop in a losing effort.

            PSU wraps up the  regular season Saturday with a key Little East Conference game against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Senior Day at Panther Field.  Saint Joseph's, the #2 seed in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament, will host #7 Simmons College (9-9, 4-5 NAC) in the opening round of the tourney at 2:00 PM on Saturday. 

(Courtesy of Saint Joseph's Sports Information) 

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