Wakefield nets hat trick to lead Panthers to LEC win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Haley Wakefield (Norway, Maine) notched her second career hat trick to lead Plymouth State University to a 3-0 win over Westfield State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) field hockey game at the Holderness School on Saturday afternoon.
With the win Plymouth State improves to 8-9 overall and 6-6 in the LEC. The Panthers clinch the seventh seed for next week's LEC Tournament and will travel to second seeded Keene State for a first round game on Tuesday (Nov. 5). Westfield State ends its season with a 5-15 record and 1-11 mark in the LEC.
Wakefield got the scoring started in the 20th minute, then added a pair of goals in the final two minutes to secure the victory. Westfield had two golden opportunities in the second quarter. Trailing 1-0, an Owls' shot got past the PSU goalkeeper, but senior Kylie Ham (Wayland, Mass.) was there to make a defensive save. Four minutes later the visitors thought they had tied the game when the ball teetered on the goal line and was covered up by junior Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.). Westfield was awarded a penalty stroke, but the shot went wide of the cage.
Prior to the game the Panthers honored their five seniors in a brief on-field ceremony; Ham, Kate McPherson (Conway, N.H.), Kaihley Rafferty (Salem, Conn.), Keeley Bartolini (Topsham, Maine) and Maddie Kabasakalian (Kent, Conn.).
Plymouth State 3, Westfield State 0
Plymouth State (8-9, 6-6 LEC)
Westfield State (5-15, 1-11 LEC)
How it Happened:
- PSU took a 1-0 lead five minutes into the second quarter when Wakefield fired a shot from the right side to the far post.
- Westfield State had a chance to knot the score in the 26th minute as a shot got past junior Distler, but Ham was able to clear the ball off the goal line.
- The Owls had another chance in the final minute of the quarter when a shot by sophomore Shannon Roycroft (Centerville, Mass.) sat on the goal line before Distler covered the ball. Westfield was awarded penalty stroke, but sophomore Cheryl Latona (Granby, Conn.) had her shot go just wide.
- The score remained 1-0 until late into the fourth quarter. Kabasakalian fired a drive from the right side to Wakefield in the circle, who touched it past the Owls' keeper to provide some insurance with just two minutes remaining.
- Wakefield struck again a minute later when she one-timed a feed from Rafferty.
Inside the Numbers:
- Wakefield's only other three-goal game came on Oct. 10, 2017, in a 7-0 win over Salem State. She closes out the regular season as the team's top goal-scorer with eight tallies, and tied for the team lead with 18 points.
- Distler made three saves to even her record at 4-4 for the year, while her counterpart, junior Katie Vamosi (Easton, Mass.) made three stops for the Owls but fell to 2-4.
- Westfield State owned a 6-1 advantage in shots through the first two quarters, but Plymouth State outshot the Owls by a 7-1 margin the rest of the way.
- The Panthers earned six penalty corners to Westfield's three.
- The Panthers return to the LEC Tournament to face rival Keene State in the first round on Tuesday (Nov. 5). PSU knocked off the Owls by a 3-2 margin when they met on Oct. 1. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.
|PSU seniors with their families and the coaching staff following the Senior Day win.|
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