Panthers upend Lancers for win in Little East opener
WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Kaitlyn Wilder (Framingham, Mass.) netted a hat trick Saturday afternoon to help pace a strong Plymouth State University offense in a 6-4 victory over Worcester State University in the Little East Conference field hockey opener for each squad at Coughlin Field.
PSU scored six goals for the second game in a row to record its first win of the season. Junior Nikki Garvey (Canaan, N.H.) added two goals for the Panthers for the second straight outing.
Wilder got it started early for Plymouth State (1-3, 1-0 LEC) registering her first career goal on a breakaway at the 11:18 mark. Senior Jackie Morin (Scarborough, Maine) connected with freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) two minutes later off a penalty corner from the left side for the two-goal edge, forcing WSU to call time out and regroup.
The strategy worked and Worcester State (3-1, 0-1 LEC) cut the deficit in half when junior Kelli McPherson (Mansfield, Mass.) sprinted up the middle and fired a rocket from the top of the circle that found the right corner of the net for the 2-1 score at the 21:46 mark.
The Panthers came right back to regain their two-goal margin when Garvey redirected a pass from senior Lauren Carroll (Rollinsford, N.H.) into the back of the net at 26:12 for the 3-1 score at the intermission.
WSU came out of the break and netted two consecutive goals over the first 20 minutes of action to tie the score and set up a thrilling finish. Freshman Katelyn Carmody (Shelburne Falls, Mass.) started the comeback when she received a beautiful pass from sophomore Julie O'Rourke (Worcester, Mass.) off a penalty corner on the left side of the net and deposited it at the 42:44 mark. Freshman Meghan Pini (Natick, Mass.) then cashed in on a scrum in front of the net as she took a feed from junior Molly Kilday (Westford, Mass.) for the 3-3 tie with 15:40 remaining in regulation.
Wilder answered for PSU just over four minutes later when she let loose a missile off a penalty corner for the 4-3 edge at 58:18. Plymouth State was able to convert another penalty corner when Garvey put one between the pipes with her blast from just inside the circle for the 5-3 lead at the 64:01 mark.
Worcester State responded 73 seconds later as Carmody found junior Katelyn Abber (Dedham, Mass.) on an odd man rush to make it a one-goal game at 5-4 with 4:36 remaining. However, Wilder was able to ice the game when she turned the trick on a breakaway with two ticks remaining in regulation for the 6-4 final.
Plymouth State outshot the Lancers 28-17 while also holding the 13-10 margin in penalty corners.
Junior goalie Kaitlyn Warren (Boscawen, N.H.) recorded her first victory of the campaign as she stopped four balls for the Panthers. WSU senior Allison Romano (E. Bridgewater, Mass.) recorded eight saves in the defeat.
Both teams return to action Tuesday as Worcester State squares up with crosstown rival WPI at 7 p.m. and Plymouth State returns home to host New England College at 4 p.m.
(Courtesy of Worcester State Sports Information)
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