Distler makes eight saves in LEC setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) made eight saves, but it wasn't quite enough as Plymouth State University dropped a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game to Fitchburg State University, 1-0, at the New Hampton School on Wednesday night.
Fitchburg State senior Molly Richard (Leominster, Mass.) swatted a rebound out of the air and past Distler in the 22nd minute for the game's only goal as the Falcons evened their record at 3-3 (2-1 LEC). The loss drops PSU to 2-3 (2-1 LEC).
Plymouth State 0, Fitchburg State 1
Plymouth State 2-3, 2-1 LEC
Fitchburg State 3-3, 2-1 LEC
How it Happened:
* The Panthers peppered Fitchburg State freshman goalkeeper Abby Bryant (Ware, Mass.) in the middle stages of the first half. Sophomore Olivia Geisser (Lowell, Mass.) fired a shot that Bryant kicked aside and junior Keeley Bartolini (Topsham, Maine) had a chance at the rebound, but Bryant was able to make the stop to keep the game scoreless.
* Fitchburg broke through on a counterattack in the 22nd minute. Freshman Sarah Craig (Ashburnham, Mass.) fired a high shot from the right side. Distler made a blocker save, but the ball rebounded to Richard in front of the cage and she was able to swat it out of the air into the open goal.
* The Panthers closed the first half with a flurry earning four penalty corners over the final six minutes, but were unable to get the equalizer.
* PSU had a great chance to even the score with just over 14 minutes remaining. Off a restart, senior Patty Newhard (South Dennis, Mass.) blasted a drive 60 yards to junior Kaihley Rafferty (Salem, Conn.) for a breakaway opportunity, but a Falcons defender was able to chase her down and Bryant kicked the ball away.
* Plymouth State had another opportunity moments later off a penalty corner. Freshman Jess Mezquita (Atkinson, N.H.) and sophomore Haley Wakefield (South Paris, Maine) both had shot attempts with a cluster in front of the goal, but Bryant was able to preserve the lead.
* The Panthers' final scoring chance came in the closing minutes, when Newhard fired a pair of shots off yet another penalty corner. The first was blocked by a Fitchburg State defender, while Bryant kicked aside the second.
Inside the Numbers:
* Plymouth State held a narrow 12-11 advantage in shots, but earned 13 penalty corners to the Falcons' five.
* After falling in the season opener by a 5-0 margin, the Panthers have allowed just a single goal in each of the four games since.
* Bryant finished with six saves for the Falcons to earn her first career shutout.
* The Panthers fall to 17-5 all-time against Fitchburg State, but the Falcons have won three of the last five meetings.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We always expect there's going to be a fight from them," said head coach Bonnie Lord. "I'm disappointed that we weren't more consistent like we can be. We had our opportunities and needed to be better finishing. Hats off to [FSU goalkeeper] Abby Bryant, who got the ball out of there every time we put it on her pads."
* PSU wraps up a season-long four game homestand on Saturday (Sept. 22) with an LEC contest against Western Connecticut. Game time is set for 11:00 a.m. at the New Hampton School.
* Fitchburg is also back in league play on Saturday when the Falcons travel to Bridgewater State for a 3:00 p.m. contest.
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