Wilder's game-winner lifts Panthers to non-conference win
STANDISH, MAINE – Freshman Kaitlyn Wilder (Framingham, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal two minutes, 42 seconds into overtime Wednesday afternoon as Plymouth State University outlasted Saint Joseph's College of Maine, 4-3, in non-conference field hockey action at Mercy Field.
Wilder's goal spoiled three comeback attempts by the home team. PSU scored the go-ahead goal three times in the game, and the Monks answered with the equalizer all three times, the last one with five minutes left in regulation to force overtime. The overtime winner for the Panthers pushed their record to 10-5 overall while Saint Joe's had its five-game winning streak stopped and dropped to 13-3.
Each team scored once in the first half, as junior Emily Davis (Boscawen, N.H.) opened the scoring for PSU with her sixth goal of the season 11 minutes into the game, and Carley Denis answered for Saint Joe's with just over a minute to go in the half. The Panthers had a 10-2 advantage in shots in the first half but had to settle for a 1-1 tie.
Senior Jackie Morin (Scarborough, Maine) gave PSU the lead again with her 14th of the season three minutes into the second half, but Meghan Williams came back for the Monks six minutes to later to deadlock the score at 2-2. Junior Nikki Garvey (Canaan, N.H.) pulled PSU ahead for the third time with 18 minutes remaining, but with time waning, senior Rachelle Messuri (Atkinson, N.H.) took a shot from the right that was stopped by Plymouth keeper Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.) and the rebound bounced to the stick of Effie Drew (Portland, Maine), who slammed the ball into the left corner to knot the game at three-apiece with 4:57 remaining in regulation.
Garvey's goal was her career-high 20th of the season, making her just the fourth player in school history to score 20 goals in a season, and it was assisted by senior Lauren Carroll (Rollinsford, N.H.); Carroll now has 13 assists this season, one shy of the school record, and she tied Lauren Bergeron (2008-11) for the career assist record with 27.
With new life, the Monks managed to control the pace of play during the closing minutes and earned four penalty corners in the final 75 seconds, including a pair of attempts with no time on the game clock. The Royal Blue managed to record just two shots off the corner bids however, as shots by Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine) and Carley Denis (Lewiston, Maine) were blocked and sailed wide right, respectively.
Playing 7v7 in overtime, the Panthers maintained possession and their efforts paid off just 2:42 into extra play after a flurry of opportunities. Dribbling through several defenders working upfield and across the midline, Carroll sprung Garvey on a breakaway. Saint Joseph's freshman keeper Emma Astbury (Bridgewater, Vt.) made a pair of point-blank stops, but failed to control the second rebound, which trickled to the stick of Wilder. With Astbury 15 feet out of the cage and only a pair of defenders to beat, the Panthers' freshman forward fired off two quick shots with the latter finding the back of the goal for the winner.
Sophomore Meghan Williams (Greenland, N.H.) was one of the SJC defenders in goal on the final play and recorded a fine defensive save on Wilder's first shot attempt.
The first goal of the contest, scored by Davis 10:34 into play, was the first marker allowed by the Monks since October 9th, when the team suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of Lasell College. It also counted as the first score Saint Joseph's had allowed at home this fall. Today's loss snaps an eight-game home win streak for St. Joe's and the Monks' first setback at Mercy Field since Endicott College topped the Royal Blue by a 3-1 score on September 25th, 2012.
In goal, Astbury made seven saves in a losing effort while Lemelin did not make a save in the victory for Plymouth State. The Panthers held a 21-6 advantage in shots while the Monks held an 11-6 lead in penalty corners.
Saint Joseph's falls to 2-3 in the history of the series with Plymouth State. Four of the five meetings have been decided by one goal.
Saint Joseph's, the #2 seed in the NAC Tournament, will host #7 Lasell College in a conference quarterfinal on Saturday at 2:00 PM. Plymouth State will host Little East Conference rival Bridgewater State in the regular season finale Saturday on Senior Day at 12 noon.
(Courtesy of Saint Joseph's Sports Information)
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