Burgess, Bates lead Panthers to conference win
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Junior forward Nicole Burgess (Mexico, Maine) scored two goals as the Plymouth State University field hockey team spoiled Westfield State's Senior Day, 3-0, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Panthers improve to 11-3 and combined with a loss by Keene State College, take over sole possession of first place in the Little East Conference at 9-1 and clinch at least a share of the LEC regular season title. Westfield State drops to 7-8 overall, 5-5 in the LEC.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alivia Bates (Pennsauken, N.J.) made four saves to pick up her fifth shutout of the season.
After a scoreless first half, Burgess broke the tie early in the second frame, taking a pass from sophomore Katie Martin (Waterbury Center, VT) at the top of the arc and beating Owls' goalkeeper Megan Fountaine (Scituate, Mass.) for the goal.
Ten minutes later, freshman forward Kialah Reeder (Enfield, N.H.) smashed home a rebound that caromed wildly in front of the net after a blocked shot to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Westfield State peppered Plymouth with shots in the final 15 minutes, but couldn't beat Bates. Owls' junior forward Holly Brouillette (Burlington, Mass.) had two strong scoring chances in front of the net, but Bates saved both shots.
Burgess added her second goal with eight seconds remaining in the match, sliding past Fountaine with some nifty stick-work. She now ranks second in the LEC with 12 goals scored.
The Owls outshot Plymouth, 18-17, including an 8-6 advantage in penalty corners. Fountaine had five stops in the loss.
The Owls look to rebound from the loss on Tuesday, October 27 when they head to Mount Holyoke for a 7 p.m. match. PSU plays a non-conference match Wednesday at Saint Joseph's College (Maine).
(Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information)
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