Newhard scores for Panthers as Distler makes eight stops
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Patty Newhard (South Dennis, Mass.) picked up her second goal of the year and sophomore goalkeeper Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) made eight saves, but Plymouth State University was tripped up by the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game at Hannaford Field on Wednesday afternoon.
USM controlled play for much of the contest, but Distler and the Panthers' defense held the Huskies scoreless through the first half. Southern Maine broke through in the 49th minute, then added what would turn out to be a huge insurance goal with less than three minutes to play. Newhard pulled the Panthers back to within one in the final minute, but USM was able to run out the remaining time.
Plymouth State drops to 4-9 overall and 4-6 in the Little East, while Southern Maine moves to 8-7 and 6-3 in conference play.
Plymouth State 1, Southern Maine 2
Plymouth State 4-9, 4-6 LEC
Southern Maine 8-7, 6-3 LEC
How it Happened:
* Southern Maine came out aggressive early, earning two penalty corners and firing four shots in the first five minutes, but only one was on target and Distler was able to deny the Huskies.
* Plymouth State's first good scoring chance came ten minutes later, but sophomore Haley Wakefield (South Paris, Maine) had her shot go wide.
* The Huskies continued to attack, registering another five shots through the remainder of the first half, but Plymouth State's defense kept them off the board.
* USM broke the ice midway through the second half. Senior Dorina Sirois (Saco, Maine) picked up her seventh goal of the year off a feed from junior Maggie Redman (Alfred, Maine) in the 49th minute to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
* Distler continued her strong play in goal to keep the game close while Southern Maine maintained the offensive pressure. She denied Sirois on a high shot in the 66th minute, making a body save, then recovered to make another stop on a rebound attempt to keep the Panthers within striking distance.
* The Huskies added an important insurance goal with just under three minutes to play when senior Brooke Dugan (Thomaston, Maine) redirected a pass out of the air for her first goal of the season.
* PSU battled to the final buzzer and earned a pair of penalty corners in the final minute, the second of which led to Newhard's goal. Junior Kaihley Rafferty (Salem, Conn.) inserted the ball to Newhard at the top of the circle and her blast went through traffic to cut the deficit in half.
* USM ran out the remainder of the clock to hold off the Panthers.
Inside the Numbers:
* Newhard recorded her second goal of the year, while Rafferty notched her first assist of the season.
* Southern Maine owned a 17-3 advantage in shots and 10-2 advantage in shots on goal.
* Distler made eight saves for the Panthers, but dropped to 4-9 on the year.
* Five of the last six meetings between the two teams have been decided by a single goal.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We struggled to find momentum in the first half as outstanding play by Jess [Distler] in goal kept the game scoreless," said head coach Bonnie Lord. "We had many opportunities for the forwards to score between up field rushes and corners. Maddie Kabasakalian (Kent, Conn.) played a great game in the midfield, but we struggled with effort and execution as USM played a tight defensive game. We are capable of much more and now it's on the line to make a push for the postseason."
* PSU visits Westfield State on Saturday (Oct. 20) for another LEC contest. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
* Southern Maine is also in league action on Saturday (Oct. 20), traveling to Castleton for a 4:00 p.m. contest.
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