Wakefield nets game-winner in LEC opener
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Haley Wakefield (South Paris, Maine) scored off a rebound with 4:37 left in overtime to lift Plymouth State University to a 2-1 win over Bridgewater State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game at the New Hampton School on Saturday afternoon.
Playing on its home field for the first time this year, PSU improves to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in LEC play, while the Bears drop to 1-1 (0-1 LEC).
Plymouth State 2, Bridgewater State 1 (OT)
Plymouth State 1-2, 1-0 LEC
Bridgewater State 1-1, 0-1 LEC
How it Happened:
* Bridgewater State needed less than 90 seconds to take the lead. Senior Samantha Hayes (Norwood, Mass.) carried the ball into the circle and PSU sophomore goalkeeper Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) made a diving stop on her shot to the far post. The Panthers attempted to clear, but the ball was kept in by the Bears and ultimately got behind Distler. Bridgewater State senior Julianne Kilduff (Bellingham, Mass.) got just enough on her backhanded shot for the ball to trickle over the goal line.
* The Panthers struck back to even the score less than a minute later. Freshman Jess Mezquita (Atkinson, N.H.) stole the ball from a Bears' defender before finding junior Kaihley Rafferty (Salem, Conn.). Rafferty fired a shot low to the near post just out of reach of BSU senior goalkeeper Allison Chappell (Raynham, Mass.) for the Panthers' first goal of 2018.
* PSU had a great chance to take a 2-1 lead in the 19th minute after being awarded a penalty stroke. Junior Kylie Ham (Wayland, Mass.) flipped a shot high to the left post, but Chappell, in a full extension, was able to make the stop.
* Moments later Bridgewater had a breakaway opportunity, but Distler was able to deny sophomore Emma Daly's (Foxborough, Mass.) shot with a sprawling save.
* BSU controlled much of the second half, but Distler's play in goal kept the game tied.
* The momentum swung to the Panthers in overtime as the home team was able to keep sustained pressure on the BSU defense.
* Mezquita fired a backhanded shot from the top of the circle that Chappell was able to kick away, but Wakefield was right there and quickly flicked the rebound low to the near side before being mobbed by her teammates.
Inside the Numbers:
* Distler continued a strong start to the season making 12 saves on the afternoon, including eight in the second half alone.
* Chappell finished with five saves.
* Bridgewater State owned a 20-15 advantage in shots and a 13-7 edge in shots on goal, but PSU outshot the Bears 4-0 in overtime.
* PSU finished with a 7-5 margin in penalty corners after registering all three corners in overtime.
* Plymouth State now owns a 25-8-1 record in the all-time series with the Bears, including wins in each of the last seven meetings.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"It's always great to get a Little East opener in the books," said head coach Bonnie Lord. "It was a great match-up with Bridgewater State and I'm very proud of our ladies' efforts, especially considering we only had one sub for the day. We had outstanding play by Jess [Distler] in goal and a strong defensive effort led by Kylie [Ham], along with sophomores Laura Secone (Harpswell, Maine) and Olivia Geisser (Lowell, Mass.). Junior Maddie Kabasakalian (Kent, Conn.) directed the midfield and great goals from Haley [Wakefield] and Kaihley [Rafferty]. Our young team matured today!"
* Plymouth State settles in for three more home games against LEC competition over the next two weeks. The Panthers host Framingham State under the lights at the New Hampton School on Friday (Sept. 14) at 7:00 p.m.
* The Bears travel to Wellesley for a non-conference match-up on Thursday (Sept. 13) at 4:30 p.m.
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