Luscher scores in third straight game for Panthers
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Freshman Mariah Luscher (Holderness, N.H.) scored a goal for the third straight game to help Plymouth State University build a 3-0 first half lead, but Eastern Connecticut State University rallied with four unanswered scores as the Warriors shocked the Panthers in overtime, 4-3, in a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game at Mansfield Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Luscher scored twice in a ten minute span and classmate Shannon Ford (Bow, N.H.) added her second of the year as PSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Warriors started the comeback with goals seven minutes apart early in the second half, and Eastern tied the game with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, setting up the game-winner off a penalty corner in overtime.
With the setback Plymouth State falls to 2-6 overall (2-4 LEC), while Eastern Connecticut moves to 3-5 and 3-3 in league play.
Plymouth State 3, Eastern Connecticut 4 (OT)
Plymouth State 2-6, 2-4 LEC
Eastern Connecticut 3-5, 3-3 LEC
How it Happened:
* Luscher put the Panthers ahead in the 21st minute. Junior Kaihley Rafferty (Salem, Conn.) fired a shot on goal that was saved by ECSU sophomore goalkeeper Keira Integlia (Branford, Conn.), but Luscher was there to put away the rebound.
* Luscher picked up her team-leading fourth goal of the season just over ten minutes later on another rebound. Sophomore Kaitlyne Silva (Seekonk, Mass.) had her shot turned aside by Integlia, but again Luscher was there to capitalize for the Panthers.
* Ford made it a 3-0 game with her second goal of the season in the 34th minute when a ball sent into the circle deflected off an ECSU defender.
* Plymouth carried the lead into the final 18 minutes of the second half, when Eastern got two back in a seven minute span. Freshman Sydney Hogan (Northford, Conn.) put the hosts on the board when she one-timed a cross from junior Morgan Sanson (Thomaston, Conn.) in the 52nd minute.
* Junior Lindsey McKeon (Chester, Conn.) made it a 3-2 game exactly seven minutes later when her shot from the left side deflected off a Panther defender and into the goal.
* Freshman Sydney Collentine (New Fairfield, Conn.) pulled the Warriors even with just 2:03 left in regulation.
* Plymouth State sophomore goalkeeper Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) kept the game tied early in the overtime when she came out to break up the play by kicking a ball away before Sanson could gain possession.
* The Panthers' best opportunity at the game winner came off a penalty corner four minutes into sudden death. After an insert by sophomore Laura Secone (Harpswell, Maine), Luscher blasted a shot but Integlia was able to make the stop.
* ECSU completed the comeback win with a goal off a penalty corner minutes later. Senior Erin Sheehan (North Branford, Conn.) sent a ball into the middle of the circle to an unmarked Sanson, who fired it low to the left post for her second game-winning goal of the season.
Inside the Numbers:
* Luscher has scored in each of the Panthers' last three games.
* ECSU held a slight 14-12 edge in shots and owned an 8-3 advantage in penalty corners.
* Distler finished with five saves for the Panthers, while Integlia made seven stops for the hosts.
* The loss was just the second for the Panthers in 22 games against Eastern Connecticut going back to the 1998 season. The Warriors' other win came in 2015.
* The Panthers are home Wednesday night (Oct. 3) for a 7:00 p.m. Little East contest against Salem State.
* Eastern Connecticut hosts LEC foe Bridgewater State on Wednesday (Oct. 3) at 4:30 p.m.
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