Panthers finish runner-up in New England Tourney
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Stephanie Slysz scored two goals and assisted on another Sunday afternoon as third-seeded Mount Holyoke College upset top-seeded Plymouth State University, 4-2, in the championship game of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Field Hockey Tournament at PSU's Arold Field.
Slysz's second goal broke a 2-2 tie four minutes into the second half and ended up as the game-winner, and she assisted on an insurance goal 10 minutes later by senior Shara Robertson. Robertson, who set up the Lyons' first goal and also tallied two goals in Saturday's 2-1 semifinal overtime victory over the University of New England, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Mount Holyoke finishes its season with a 16-5 overall record and claims it's second ECAC Championship and first since 2002. PSU, which was the defending champion and playing in its fourth straight ECAC Championship game, wraps up its season at 18-4.
PSU carried the play in the early-going, but it was the Lyons who broke on to the scoreboard first. Robertson delivered a penalty corner from the left side of the PSU goal to her closest teammate, freshman Kirsten Kilburn, who unloaded one of her powerful slapshots on goal. The ball snuck just inside the left goal post for Kilburn's 16th of the season and a 1-0 Lyons' lead.
The Panthers managed to tie the game in the 16th minute when junior Olivia Colborn finished off a scramble in front with her 15th goal of the year, but it took Mount Holyoke only 39 seconds to regain the lead. The Lyons came into the offensive zone on a transition and junior Angelica Pascual fed a crossing pass from the right side to Slysz, who one-timed the ball through the goalie and Mount Holyoke had the lead back, 2-1.
PSU appeared to tie the game with 10 minutes to play in the half but an apparent goal by Colborn off a feed from sophomore Lauren Carroll was waved off by the officials. The Panthers tied it with less than five minutes left in the half when Carroll re-directed Colborn's shot off a penalty corner, and the game was deadlocked at 2-2 at halftime.
The Lyons pulled ahead again four minutes into the second half when Slysz put in a rebound for her second of the game. Mount Holyoke had a chance to extend the lead with 24 minutes remaining but PSU junior goalie Hilary Lemelin made a nice kick save on a penalty stroke attempt by junior Stephanie Pascual.
Robertson closed out the scoring for the winners with her team-leading 25th of the season, redirecting a ball from Slysz with 20 minutes remaining.
Shots and penalty corners were fairly even in the game, with PSU finishing with a 16-15 advantage in shots and a 14-12 margin in corners. Lemelin finished with nine saves for PSU and senior Katie Gibson made eight saves for Mount Holyoke.
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