Wakefield records hat trick, McPherson two goals in LEC victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Haley Wakefield (South Paris, Maine) scored a career-high three goals and sophomore Kate McPherson (Conway, N.H.) added two goals and an assist as Plymouth State University ran past Salem State University, 7-0, in Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey action at the New Hampton School Tuesday night.
With the victory the Panthers improve to 9-3 overall and 7-2 in LEC play. Salem State drops to 2-10 and 1-8 in the conference.
The Vikings opened the game in attack mode, immediately putting pressure on the PSU defense. The visitors earned a penalty corner in the game's first two minutes, which led to a shot from senior Marissa Penge (Liverpool, N.Y.), but senior goalkeeper Alivia Bates (Pennsauken, N.J.) was able to make the initial save. Penge collected the rebound, got behind Bates and looked ready to score, but junior Patty Newhard (South Dennis, Mass.) made a key defensive save to keep Salem State off the board.
Plymouth State took control of the momentum from that point. The Panthers had a shot ricochet off the post and sophomore Maddie Kabasakalian (Kent, Conn.) had her rebound attempt stopped by senior defender Julia Klein (Liverpool, N.Y.).
PSU got on the board in the 11th minute when Wakefield took a feed from McPherson and fired it into the net to put the Panthers up 1-0. Less than four minutes later senior Katie Martin (Waterbury Center, Vt.) doubled the lead when she beat Salem sophomore goalkeeper Gabriella Cerro (Beverly, Mass.) low to the left corner.
McPherson netted her first goal of the net off a penalty stroke in the 21st minute. The sophomore lifted the shot high over Cerro's head and the ball clanged off the crossbar and into the goal. Less than two minutes later Wakefield struck for her second goal. Senior Lily Davis (Boscawen, N.H.) had her shot kicked aside by Cerro, but Wakefield was there to clean up the rebound and the Panthers' lead was 4-0.
The Vikings had a scoring opportunity in the 24th minute, following a Salem State timeout. Senior Courtney Kilgore (Wakefield, Mass.) got into the circle, but Bates was able to make the save. PSU kept the pressure on, with the ball regularly deep in the Vikings' territory, but Cerro held the Panthers at bay.
Wakefield scored her third goal of the night early in the second half when she collected a rebound and fired the ball into the bottom left corner. Kabasakalian got into the scoring column just over three minutes later. PSU controlled the ball along the Salem State goal line and the sophomore tapped home a loose ball that had deflected off Cerro's pads.
Salem State had some of its best opportunities 10 minutes into the second half, but freshman Jessica Distler (Brookfield, N.H.), who had relieved Bates in the PSU goal after the intermission, made a pair of sprawling saves to keep the Vikings off the scoreboard.
McPherson capped the scoring with her second penalty stroke goal of the night in the 55th minute. Wakefield and Martin both had shots turned aside by sophomore Victoria Kako (Salem, Mass.), who came on for Cerro a couple minutes earlier. The Panthers were awarded a penalty stroke, though, and McPherson cashed in with another high shot, this time into the top left corner.
The Panthers outshot Salem State 26-9 for the game and held a 7-3 edge in penalty corners, including a 6-1 advantage in the opening half. The trio of Bates, Distler and freshman Molly Henne (Reading, Vt.) combined to earn the shutout. Bates was credited with the win to improve to 9-3-0 on the year. Each of the three goalies made two saves.
Cerro made three saves for the Vikings, while Kako made four in her 17:47 of action. Cerro took the loss to fall to 2-10-0 on the year.
Both teams remain in LEC play on Saturday. Plymouth State travels to UMass Dartmouth for a 4:00 p.m. game, while the Vikings will host Westfield State at Alumni Field for a 12:00 p.m. game.
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