Castleton edges PSU Field Hockey in shootout, 7-6

Castleton edges PSU Field Hockey in shootout, 7-6

Garvey scores three and Morin two in setback for Panthers

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Rachel Preusser (Craryville, N.Y.) scored five goals Wednesday afternoon, including the game-winner with no time remaining on the clock, as Castleton State College nipped Plymouth State University, 7-6, in a dramatic field hockey game at steamy Arold Field.

            Preusser's fifth goal came on a penalty corner with the score tied 6-6 at the end of the regulation play.  The Spartans were given the chance to complete the penalty corner, and Preusser blasted a shot from the left side into the upper half of the goal with an assist from classmate Blake Wardwell (Bridgewater, Vt.).  Castleton records its first win of the season, improving to 1-2, while PSU slides to 0-3.

            Junior Nikki Garvey (Cannan, N.H.) led the PSU attack with three goals, posting her second career hat trick.  Senior Jackie Morin (Scarborough, Maine) added a pair of markers, and senior defender Aisha Rai Thompson (Berlin, N.H.) made four defensive saves in the first half to keep PSU in the game.

            PSU took a 2-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game.  Morin knocked one under the goalie six and a half minutes into the game, and Garvey broke in alone to sneak one past the keeper to make it a two-goal game. Wardwell had a chance to tie the game a minute later, but her penalty stroke was stopped by PSU senior goalie Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.). Senior Shawna Pinsonault (Brownsville, Vt.) put the Spartans on the board on a rebound of her own shot at the 15:12 mark.

            The visitors outshot the home team 24-7 in the first 35 minutes, but PSU led 2-1.  Lemelin made 18 saves along with Thompson's four defensive saves to keep the Panthers in the game.

            Wardwell tied the game three minutes into the second half, finishing off a pretty 3-on-1 with assists to teammates Preusser and Pinsonault, but Garvey's second goal off a rebound less than a minute later gave the Panthers the lead back, 3-2.

            Preusser and Morin traded goals less than a minute apart with about 25 minutes remaining, Preusser scoring her first of the day on a cross from Wardwell and Morin answering with a nice back-handed flip over the goalie's shoulder.  Preusser tied the game at 4-4 with her second of the day on a rebound with 15 minutes remaining.

            The teams combined for five goals in the final seven minutes of the contest.  Garvey's third of the day put the Panthers ahead 5-4 with 6:50 on the clock.  Preusser answered with back-to-back goals just over two minutes apart for the Spartans, hitting a one-timer past the goalie and then weaving through the Panther defense for a go-ahead score (6-5) with 3:52 to play.

            Castleton appeared headed to victory but PSU freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) blasted a shot from just inside the circle on the right side, tying the score at 6-6 with 37 seconds remaining.  But Preusser finished off her outstanding performance with the game-winning goal with no time remaining.

            Lemelin finished with 18 saves before coming out of the game with an injury midway through the second half.  Junior Kaitlyn Warren (Boscawen, N.H.) came off the bench and made five saves in the last 25 minutes.  Junior Jessica Galatioto (Queensbury, N.Y.) made eight saves to earn the win in the Spartan goal.

            PSU opens Little East Conference play Saturday with a visit to Worcester State University for an 11:00 a.m. start.  Castleton is back on the field Saturday at the University of New England. 

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