Mezquita tallies a goal and two assists; Distler outstanding in goal
NEW HAMPTON, N.H. – Sophomore Jess Mezquita (Atkinson, N.H.) notched a goal and a pair of assists, while junior Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) made several outstanding saves as Plymouth State University held off a second half rally from Keene State College for a 3-2 win in a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game at Kennedy Field on Tuesday night.
Plymouth State built a 3-0 lead through the first 22 minutes of action before the Owls broke through midway into the second quarter. Keene State cut the deficit to one early into the third quarter and applied steady pressure throughout the fourth, but Distler made some key stops down the stretch to preserve the win.
The Panthers snap Keene's three game winning streak to improve to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the Little East. Keene State falls to 6-5 and 4-1 in LEC play.
Plymouth State 3, Keene State 2
Plymouth State 5-4, 3-2 LEC
Keene State 6-5, 4-1 LEC
How it Happened:
- Plymouth State grabbed the early momentum after breaking through off a penalty corner in the fifth minute. Mezquita collected the ball from the left side and pushed a pass toward the goal that senior Kylie Ham (Wayland, Mass.) poked inside the right post for an early advantage.
- The Panthers doubled the lead just over five minutes later. Junior Kate McPherson (Conway, N.H.) fired a shot that was initially saved by junior goalkeeper Rachel Loseby (Hartford, Vt.), but the rebound went to Mezquita, who flicked a high shot into the back of the cage.
- The Owls put pressure on the PSU defense early in the second quarter, but Distler made back-to-back saves on shots from juniors Nina Bruno (Agawam, Mass.) and Kayla Klein (West Brookfield, Mass.) to keep the score at 2-0.
- Sophomore Mariah Luscher (Holderness, N.H.) pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 22nd minute when she redirected a Mezquita shot over a diving Loseby.
- Keene got the goal back just over four minutes later when Bruno corralled a loose ball on the right side and rifled a shot inside the left post.
- The score would hold through the end of the half, but the Owls opened the third quarter with renewed pressure and Bruno's second goal of the night made it a 3-2 game. Following a PSU foul, senior Ally McCall (Watertown, Mass.) sent a ball into the circle from 30 yards out and Bruno, at the top of the circle, reached out from her knees and tipped it high over Distler and into the cage.
- Keene State continued to control much of the action throughout the remainder of the game, but the Panthers' defense, highlighted by solid play from Ham, McPherson and Distler, preserved the lead.
- The Owls' best chance to tie the game came with just over five minutes remaining as Bruno and Klein came in on a breakaway, but Distler made a huge save and the Panthers held on for the win.
Inside the Numbers:
- Distler finished with seven saves to improve to 3-1, while Loseby made three stops to fall to 6-5.
- Keene State held an 11-8 advantage in shots and a 10-5 edge in penalty corners, seven of which came in the second half.
- The Panthers' win snapped a five game losing streak at the hands of KSC and broke the Owls' string of three straight shutouts.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We've been working really, really hard," said head coach Bonnie Lord. "This is something that we've been preparing for and I wasn't the least bit surprised at the performance tonight. Kylie [Ham] and Kate [McPherson] were just stellar … absolutely stellar."
- Plymouth State heads to UMass Dartmouth on Saturday (Oct. 5) for another LEC contest starting at 3:00 p.m.
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