Panthers advance to semifinal on Thursday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) scored the go-ahead goal with 8:05 remaining in the second half Tuesday afternoon as third-seeded Plymouth State University held off sixth-seeded Salem State University, 4-2, in a Little East Conference Field Hockey Tournament quarterfinal game at PSU's Arold Field.
The upset-minded Vikings rallied from behind to tie the score twice in the second half, the second time knotting the score at 2-2 with 9:16 remaining. But Lange finished off a penalty corner a minute later to put the Panthers ahead for good and junior Emily Davis (Boscawen, N.H.) added an insurance marker with 4:33 to play to seal the win.
PSU won its third game in a row and eighth in the last nine outings, improving to 12-5 on the season. The Panthers advance to the LEC semifinals on Thursday (Nov. 7) and will face the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal between second-seeded Bridgewater State University (14-4) and seventh-seeded Westfield State University (7-10). Salem State winds up its season at 8-10 overall.
Plymouth State had an 8-1 advantage in shots in the first half but had just one goal to show for it, and that came on a penalty stroke. PSU's leading scorer, junior Nikki Garvey (Canaan, N.H.), took the stroke with 15 minutes left in the half and fired the ball into the top left corner for her 21st goal of the season, second-most in the LEC this year.
Salem State tied the score at 1-all with 18 minutes remaining in the second half as freshman Katie Pietrini (Beverly, Mass.) knocked in a rebound after PSU goalie Hilary Lemelin (Milan, N.H.) made a save on freshman Kathryn Hart (Beverly, Mass.).
The Panthers regained the lead four minutes later when a loose ball came to senior Jackie Morin (Scarborough, Maine) just inside the top of the circle and she fired a shot just inside the left post. The goal was No. 16 on the season for Morin, tied for third-most in the LEC, and gave PSU the lead back with 14 minutes to play.
The Vikings would not give up, and came back to tie the score again when sophomore Kathleen Clark (Southboro, Mass.) knocked in her own rebound with just over nine minutes on the clock. But Lange gave PSU the lead for good, converting a penalty corner from senior Lauren Carroll (Rollinsford, N.H.). It was Carroll's 14th assist of the season, matching the school record set by Caitlin Moran in 2004, and the 28th of her career, breaking the mark of 27 set by Lauren Bergeron from 2008-11.
Davis scored the final goal on a rebound with 4:33 on the clock, and PSU held off the Vikings the rest of the way.
Lemelin earned the win in the Panther goal, making four saves. Freshman goalkeeper Carolyn Woodin (Arlington, Mass.) posted five saves in the Viking goal but took the loss.
The outcome was the second win for PSU over Salem State this season; the Panthers downed the Vikings, 5-4, on Oct. 19 in Salem, Mass.
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